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delete [] of Derived objects through Base object which has virtualdtor

P: n/a
Suppose

class Base
{
public:
virtual ~Test() { ... }
// ...
};

class Derived : public Base
{
public:
virtual ~Derived() { ... }
// ...
};

int main()
{
Base* base_ptr = new Derived[10]();
delete [] base_ptr;
return EXIT_SUCCESS;
}

If the Base class dtor is not not virtual, 'delete [] base_ptr' has
undefined behaviour.

Will 'delete [] base_ptr' call each Derived class dtor because the
Base::~Base() is virtual ? Is the deletion in the above code valid ?.
Or does this also invoke undefined behaviour ?

Kindly clarify.

Thanks
V.Subramanian
Jun 27 '08 #1
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12 Replies


P: n/a
Sam
su**************@yahoo.com, India writes:
Suppose

class Base
{
public:
virtual ~Test() { ... }
// ...
};
No, we can't suppose that. This is not a valid C++ class definition.

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Jun 27 '08 #2

P: n/a
su**************@yahoo.com wrote:
Suppose

class Base
{
public:
virtual ~Test() { ... }
Did you mean
virtual ~Base() { /*...*/ }
here?
// ...
};

class Derived : public Base
{
public:
virtual ~Derived() { ... }
// ...
};

int main()
{
Base* base_ptr = new Derived[10]();
delete [] base_ptr;
return EXIT_SUCCESS;
}

If the Base class dtor is not not virtual, 'delete [] base_ptr' has
undefined behaviour.

Will 'delete [] base_ptr' call each Derived class dtor because the
Base::~Base() is virtual ? Is the deletion in the above code valid ?.
Or does this also invoke undefined behaviour ?
If Base is correct with a proper virtual Base destructor (and not Test
destructor which is invalid) I believe this is well formed code.

--
Jim Langston
ta*******@rocketmail.com
Jun 27 '08 #3

P: n/a
Jim Langston wrote:
su**************@yahoo.com wrote:
>Suppose

class Base
{
public:
virtual ~Test() { ... }

Did you mean
virtual ~Base() { /*...*/ }
here?
>// ...
};

class Derived : public Base
{
public:
virtual ~Derived() { ... }
// ...
};

int main()
{
Base* base_ptr = new Derived[10]();
delete [] base_ptr;
return EXIT_SUCCESS;
}

If the Base class dtor is not not virtual, 'delete [] base_ptr' has
undefined behaviour.

Will 'delete [] base_ptr' call each Derived class dtor because the
Base::~Base() is virtual ? Is the deletion in the above code valid ?.
Or does this also invoke undefined behaviour ?

If Base is correct with a proper virtual Base destructor (and not Test
destructor which is invalid) I believe this is well formed code.
Well formed -- maybe. But the code has undefined behavior as per [5.3.5/3]:

... In the second alternative (delete array) if the dynamic type of the
object to be deleted differs from its static type, the behavior is
undefined.
Best

Kai-Uwe Bux
Jun 27 '08 #4

P: n/a
On Apr 29, 4:32 am, "subramanian10...@yahoo.com, India"
<subramanian10...@yahoo.comwrote:
Suppose
class Base
{
public:
virtual ~Test() { ... }
// ...
};
class Derived : public Base
{
public:
virtual ~Derived() { ... }
// ...
};
int main()
{
Base* base_ptr = new Derived[10]();
delete [] base_ptr;
return EXIT_SUCCESS;
}
If the Base class dtor is not not virtual, 'delete []
base_ptr' has undefined behaviour.
Will 'delete [] base_ptr' call each Derived class dtor because
the Base::~Base() is virtual ? Is the deletion in the above
code valid ?. Or does this also invoke undefined behaviour ?
As Kai-Uwe has pointed out, it is undefined behavior. More
generally, although the compiler will tranquilly convert
Derived* to Base* even if Derived* points to an array (because
it cannot know this), the resulting pointer can only be used as
a pointer to the first individual object. In you case, for
example, no only is the delete[] undefined behavior, but any use
of base_ptr to access the allocated array (e.g. base_ptr[1])
would be as well.

In general, don't use array new; prefer std::vector. And don't
try to make array elements polymorphic; it doesn't work. (Array
elements are values, and polymorphism only works through
pointers or references. If you need an array of polymorphic
types, you must use std::vector< Base* >, allocating and
deallocating each one manually.)
--
James Kanze (GABI Software) email:ja*********@gmail.com
Conseils en informatique orientée objet/
Beratung in objektorientierter Datenverarbeitung
9 place Sémard, 78210 St.-Cyr-l'École, France, +33 (0)1 30 23 00 34
Jun 27 '08 #5

P: n/a
James Kanze wrote:
On Apr 29, 4:32 am, "subramanian10...@yahoo.com, India"
<subramanian10...@yahoo.comwrote:
>Suppose
>class Base
{
public:
virtual ~Test() { ... }
// ...
};
>class Derived : public Base
{
public:
virtual ~Derived() { ... }
// ...
};
>int main()
{
Base* base_ptr = new Derived[10]();
delete [] base_ptr;
return EXIT_SUCCESS;
}
>If the Base class dtor is not not virtual, 'delete []
base_ptr' has undefined behaviour.
>Will 'delete [] base_ptr' call each Derived class dtor because
the Base::~Base() is virtual ? Is the deletion in the above
code valid ?. Or does this also invoke undefined behaviour ?

As Kai-Uwe has pointed out, it is undefined behavior. More
generally, although the compiler will tranquilly convert
Derived* to Base* even if Derived* points to an array (because
it cannot know this), the resulting pointer can only be used as
a pointer to the first individual object. In you case, for
example, no only is the delete[] undefined behavior, but any use
of base_ptr to access the allocated array (e.g. base_ptr[1])
would be as well.

In general, don't use array new; prefer std::vector. And don't
try to make array elements polymorphic; it doesn't work. (Array
elements are values, and polymorphism only works through
pointers or references. If you need an array of polymorphic
types, you must use std::vector< Base* >, allocating and
deallocating each one manually.)
I understand what you are saying, but I don't understand why. Why should a
pointer from a std::vector<Base*be treated any different than a pointer
from Base*[] ? You state that array elements are values, but aren't the
members of containers values also? And don't most implementations of
std::vector hold their data in arrays?

It seems totally... non-intuitive and wrong to me. Can you perhaps point to
where in the standard this is stated? This is something I'm going to have
to get my head around, and right now it's just not doing it.

Thanks.

--
Jim Langston
ta*******@rocketmail.com
Jun 27 '08 #6

P: n/a
Jim Langston wrote:
James Kanze wrote:
>On Apr 29, 4:32 am, "subramanian10...@yahoo.com, India"
<subramanian10...@yahoo.comwrote:
>>Suppose
>>class Base
{
public:
virtual ~Test() { ... }
// ...
};
>>class Derived : public Base
{
public:
virtual ~Derived() { ... }
// ...
};
>>int main()
{
Base* base_ptr = new Derived[10]();
delete [] base_ptr;
return EXIT_SUCCESS;
}
>>If the Base class dtor is not not virtual, 'delete []
base_ptr' has undefined behaviour.
>>Will 'delete [] base_ptr' call each Derived class dtor because
the Base::~Base() is virtual ? Is the deletion in the above
code valid ?. Or does this also invoke undefined behaviour ?

As Kai-Uwe has pointed out, it is undefined behavior. More
generally, although the compiler will tranquilly convert
Derived* to Base* even if Derived* points to an array (because
it cannot know this), the resulting pointer can only be used as
a pointer to the first individual object. In you case, for
example, no only is the delete[] undefined behavior, but any use
of base_ptr to access the allocated array (e.g. base_ptr[1])
would be as well.

In general, don't use array new; prefer std::vector. And don't
try to make array elements polymorphic; it doesn't work. (Array
elements are values, and polymorphism only works through
pointers or references. If you need an array of polymorphic
types, you must use std::vector< Base* >, allocating and
deallocating each one manually.)

I understand what you are saying, but I don't understand why. Why
should a pointer from a std::vector<Base*be treated any different
than a pointer from Base*[] ? You state that array elements are
values, but aren't the members of containers values also? And don't
most implementations of std::vector hold their data in arrays?

It seems totally... non-intuitive and wrong to me. Can you perhaps
point to where in the standard this is stated? This is something I'm
going to have to get my head around, and right now it's just not
doing it.
I found it. 5.3.5.3

Quote: In the first alternative (delete object), if the static type of the
operand is different from its dynamic type, the
static type shall be a base class of the operand's dynamic type and the
static type shall have a virtual
destructor or the behavior is undefined. In the second alternative (delete
array) if the dynamic type of the
object to be deleted differs from its static type, the behavior is
undefined.

--
Jim Langston
ta*******@rocketmail.com
Jun 27 '08 #7

P: n/a
* Kai-Uwe Bux <jkherci...@gmx.netwrote:
subramanian10...@yahoo.com wrote:
Well formed -- maybe. But the code has undefined behavior as per [5.3.5/3]:

... In the second alternative (delete array) if the dynamic type of the
object to be deleted differs from its static type, the behavior is
undefined.
I do not know about static and dynamic type.
Please give me an example so that I can understand them.

Thanks
V.Subramanian
Jun 27 '08 #8

P: n/a
su**************@yahoo.com, India wrote:
* Kai-Uwe Bux <jkherci...@gmx.netwrote:
>>subramanian10...@yahoo.com wrote:
>Well formed -- maybe. But the code has undefined behavior as per [5.3.5/3]:

... In the second alternative (delete array) if the dynamic type of the
object to be deleted differs from its static type, the behavior is
undefined.

I do not know about static and dynamic type.
Please give me an example so that I can understand them.
class Base
{
public:
virtual ~Base() {}
};

class Derived : public Base
{};

int main()
{
Base* p = new Derived(); // static type of p is "pointer to Base"
// dynamic type of p is "pointer to Derived"
}

Jun 27 '08 #9

P: n/a
This is actually a response to the post you're responding to,
but since I cannot see it...

Jim Langston wrote:
Jim Langston wrote:
James Kanze wrote:
On Apr 29, 4:32 am, "subramanian10...@yahoo.com, India"
<subramanian10...@yahoo.comwrote:
Suppose
In general, don't use array new; prefer std::vector. And don't
try to make array elements polymorphic; it doesn't work. (Array
elements are values, and polymorphism only works through
pointers or references. If you need an array of polymorphic
types, you must use std::vector< Base* >, allocating and
deallocating each one manually.)
I understand what you are saying, but I don't understand why. Why
should a pointer from a std::vector<Base*be treated any different
than a pointer from Base*[] ? You state that array elements are
values, but aren't the members of containers values also? And don't
most implementations of std::vector hold their data in arrays?
Think about how you index into an array. And what pointer
arithmetic (which is how indexing is implemented) would mean if
you had to take into account the dynamic size. How would you
find p[1] without knowing the size of p[0]? And in the case of
p[2], what should be multiplied by 2, if p[0] and p[1] have
different sizes.

The problem here in C++ (which it inherits from C) is that even
at the user level, it makes the pointer arithmetic evident, and
doesn't distinguish between pointers to a single object, and
pointers to the first element in an array. Some of the things
you can do with a pointer (i.e. convert from Derived* to Base*)
only make sense for single objects, and other (anything
involving pointer arithmetic) only makes sense if the pointer is
in fact the address of an array.
It seems totally... non-intuitive and wrong to me. Can you perhaps
point to where in the standard this is stated? This is something I'm
going to have to get my head around, and right now it's just not
doing it.
I found it. 5.3.5.3
Quote: In the first alternative (delete object), if the static
type of the operand is different from its dynamic type, the
static type shall be a base class of the operand's dynamic
type and the static type shall have a virtual destructor or
the behavior is undefined. In the second alternative (delete
array) if the dynamic type of the object to be deleted differs
from its static type, the behavior is undefined.
That covers the delete. Something like:

struct Base
{
virtual ~Base() {}
int i ; // Take up some room.
virtual void function() ;
}

struct Derived : Base
{
int j ; // Ensure that Derived is bigger than
// Base.
virtual void function() ;
} ;

Base* p = new Derived[ 20 ] ;
++ p ;
p->function() ;

is also illegal. It can't work; there's no way to implement it
so that it does work (within the usual C++ memory model). But
finding why in the standard... It's very, very indirect, but I
suppose that the definition of pointer addition (++ is defined
in terms of addition) would cover it: "When an expression that
has integral type is added to or subtracted from a pointer, the
result has the type of the pointer operand. If the pointer
operand points to an element of an array object,[...]" In this
case, the pointer points to a Base subobject, and that Base
subobject is NOT an element of an array object. (The elements
of the array object are all Derived.) I'd prefer something more
explicit, but I think that the intent is clear.

--
James Kanze (GABI Software) email:ja*********@gmail.com
Conseils en informatique orientée objet/
Beratung in objektorientierter Datenverarbeitung
9 place Sémard, 78210 St.-Cyr-l'École, France, +33 (0)1 30 23 00 34
Jun 27 '08 #10

P: n/a
Barry wrote:
su**************@yahoo.com, India wrote:
>* Kai-Uwe Bux <jkherci...@gmx.netwrote:
>>>subramanian10...@yahoo.com wrote:
>>Well formed -- maybe. But the code has undefined behavior as per
[5.3.5/3]:

... In the second alternative (delete array) if the dynamic type of
the
object to be deleted differs from its static type, the behavior is
undefined.

I do not know about static and dynamic type.
Please give me an example so that I can understand them.

class Base
{
public:
virtual ~Base() {}
};

class Derived : public Base
{};

int main()
{
Base* p = new Derived(); // static type of p is "pointer to Base"
// dynamic type of p is "pointer to Derived"
}
Hello,

in the above example, what will happen if we add 'delete p;' at the end
of main(). What will be deleted ? Only the base class part or both base
and derived part of instantied object ?

thanks

Xavier
Jun 27 '08 #11

P: n/a
xavier wrote:
Barry wrote:
>>
class Base
{
public:
virtual ~Base() {}
};

class Derived : public Base
{};

int main()
{
Base* p = new Derived(); // static type of p is "pointer to Base"
// dynamic type of p is "pointer to Derived"
}

Hello,

in the above example, what will happen if we add 'delete p;' at the end
of main(). What will be deleted ? Only the base class part or both base
and derived part of instantied object ?
Both.

--
Ian Collins.
Jun 27 '08 #12

P: n/a
On May 13, 12:04 am, xavier <xavierwrote:
class Base
{
public:
virtual ~Base() {}
};
class Derived : public Base
{};
int main()
{
Base* p = new Derived(); // static type of p is "pointer to Base"
// dynamic type of p is "pointer to Derived"
}
in the above example, what will happen if we add 'delete p;'
at the end of main(). What will be deleted ? Only the base
class part or both base and derived part of instantied object
?
Objects are deleted, not parts of objects. Either the code has
undefined behavior (and anything can happen), or delete will
delete the entire object. (In this case, of course, it is the
lattern.)

--
James Kanze (GABI Software) email:ja*********@gmail.com
Conseils en informatique orientée objet/
Beratung in objektorientierter Datenverarbeitung
9 place Sémard, 78210 St.-Cyr-l'École, France, +33 (0)1 30 23 00 34
Jun 27 '08 #13

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