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Ddoc
$(SPEC_S Classes,
$(P The object-oriented features of D all come from classes. The class
hierarchy
has as its root the class Object. Object defines a minimum level of functionality
that each derived class has, and a default implementation for that functionality.
)
$(P Classes are programmer defined types. Support for classes are what
make D an object oriented language, giving it encapsulation, inheritance,
and polymorphism. D classes support the single inheritance paradigm, extended
by adding support for interfaces. Class objects are instantiated by reference
only.
)
$(P A class can be exported, which means its name and all its
non-private
members are exposed externally to the DLL or EXE.
)
$(P A class declaration is defined:
)
$(GRAMMAR
$(GNAME ClassDeclaration):
$(B class) $(I Identifier) $(I BaseClassList) $(I ClassBody)
$(LINK2 template.html#ClassTemplateDeclaration, $(I ClassTemplateDeclaration))
$(GNAME BaseClassList):
$(I Empty)
$(B :) $(I SuperClass)
$(B :) $(I SuperClass) $(B ,) $(I InterfaceClasses)
$(B :) $(I InterfaceClass)
$(GNAME SuperClass):
$(I Identifier)
$(I Protection) $(I Identifier)
$(GNAME InterfaceClasses):
$(I InterfaceClass)
$(I InterfaceClass) $(B ,) $(I InterfaceClasses)
$(GNAME InterfaceClass):
$(I Identifier)
$(I Protection) $(I Identifier)
$(GNAME Protection):
$(B private)
$(B package)
$(B public)
$(B export)
$(GNAME ClassBody):
$(B {) $(B })
$(B {) $(I ClassBodyDeclarations) $(B })
$(GNAME ClassBodyDeclarations):
$(I ClassBodyDeclaration)
$(I ClassBodyDeclaration) $(I ClassBodyDeclarations)
$(GNAME ClassBodyDeclaration):
$(LINK2 module.html#DeclDef, $(I DeclDef))
$(GLINK Invariant)
$(GLINK ClassAllocator)
$(GLINK ClassDeallocator)
)
Classes consist of:
$(UL
$(LI a super class)
$(LI interfaces)
$(LI dynamic fields)
$(LI static fields)
$(LI types)
$(LI $(LINK2 #member-functions, member functions)
$(UL
$(LI static member functions)
$(LI $(LINK2 function.html#virtual-functions, Virtual Functions))
$(LI $(LINK2 #synchronized-functions, Synchronized Functions))
$(LI $(LINK2 #constructors, Constructors))
$(LI $(LINK2 #destructors, Destructors))
$(LI $(LINK2 #StaticConstructor, Static Constructors))
$(LI $(LINK2 #StaticDestructor, Static Destructors))
$(LI $(LINK2 #SharedStaticConstructor, Shared Static Constructors))
$(LI $(LINK2 #SharedStaticDestructor, Shared Static Destructors))
$(LI $(LINK2 #invariants, Class Invariants))
$(LI $(LINK2 unittest.html#unittest, Unit Tests))
$(LI $(LINK2 #allocators, Class Allocators))
$(LI $(LINK2 #deallocators, Class Deallocators))
$(V2
$(LI $(LINK2 #AliasThis, Alias This)))
)
)
)
A class is defined:
------
class Foo
{
... members ...
}
------
Note that there is no trailing ; after the closing } of the class
definition.
It is also not possible to declare a variable var like:
------
class Foo { } var;
------
Instead:
------
class Foo { }
Foo var;
------
<h3>Fields</h3>
$(P Class members are always accessed with the . operator.
There are no :: or -&gt;
operators as in C++.
)
$(P The D compiler is free to rearrange the order of fields in a class to
optimally pack them in an implementation-defined manner.
Consider the fields much like the local
variables in a function -
the compiler assigns some to registers and shuffles others around all to
get the optimal
stack frame layout. This frees the code designer to organize the fields
in a manner that
makes the code more readable rather than being forced to organize it
according to
machine optimization rules. Explicit control of field layout is provided
by struct/union
types, not classes.
)
<h3>Field Properties</h3>
$(P The $(B .offsetof) property gives the offset in bytes of the field
from the beginning of the class instantiation.
$(B .offsetof) can only be applied to
expressions which produce the type of
the field itself, not the class type:
)
------
class Foo
{
int x;
}
...
void test(Foo foo)
{
size_t o;
o = Foo.x$(B .offsetof); // error, Foo.x needs a 'this' reference
o = foo.x$(B .offsetof); // ok
}
------
<h3>Class Properties</h3>
$(P The $(B .tupleof) property returns an $(I ExpressionTuple)
of all the fields
in the class, excluding the hidden fields and the fields in the
base class.
)
---
class Foo { int x; long y; }
void test(Foo foo)
{
foo.tupleof[0] = 1; // set foo.x to 1
foo.tupleof[1] = 2; // set foo.y to 2
foreach (x; foo.tupleof)
writef(x); // prints 12
}
---
$(P The properties $(B .__vptr) and $(B .__monitor) give access
to the class object's vtbl[] and monitor, respectively, but
should not be used in user code.
)
<h3>Super Class</h3>
All classes inherit from a super class. If one is not specified,
it inherits from Object. Object forms the root of the D class
inheritance hierarchy.
<h3>$(LNAME2 member-functions, Member Functions)</h3>
$(P Non-static member functions have an extra hidden parameter
called $(I this) through which the class object's other members
can be accessed.
)
<h3>$(LNAME2 #synchronized-functions, Synchronized Functions)</h3>
$(P Synchronized class member functions have the storage class
$(CODE synchronized).
A static member function is synchronized on the $(I classinfo)
object for the class, which means that one monitor is used
for all static synchronized member functions for that class.
For non-static synchronized functions, the monitor used is
part of the class object. For example:
)
---
class Foo
{
synchronized void bar() { ...statements... }
}
---
$(P is equivalent to (as far as the monitors go):
)
---
class Foo
{
void bar()
{
synchronized (this) { ...statements... }
}
}
---
$(P Structs do not have synchronized member functions.)
<h3>$(LNAME2 constructors, Constructors)</h3>
$(GRAMMAR
$(GNAME Constructor):
$(B this) $(GLINK2 declaration, Parameters) $(GLINK2 function, FunctionBody)
$(V2 $(GLINK2 template, TemplatedConstructor))
)
$(P Members are always initialized to the
$(LNAME2 class-default-initializer, default initializer)
for their type, which is usually 0 for integer types and
NAN for floating point types.
This eliminates an entire
class of obscure problems that come from
neglecting to initialize a member in one of the constructors.
In the class definition,
there can be a static initializer to be
used instead of the default:
)
------
class Abc
{
int a; // default initializer for a is 0
long b = 7; // default initializer for b is 7
float f; // default initializer for f is NAN
}
------
This static initialization is done before any constructors are
called.
<p>
Constructors are defined with a function name of $(B this)
and having no return value:
------
class Foo
{
$(B this)(int x) // declare constructor for Foo
{ ...
}
$(B this)()
{ ...
}
}
------
Base class construction is done by calling the base class
constructor by the name $(B super):
------
class A { this(int y) { } }
class B : A
{
int j;
this()
{
...
$(B super)(3); // call base constructor A.this(3)
...
}
}
------
$(P Constructors can also call other constructors for the same class
in order to share common initializations
$(LNAME2 delegating-constructors, (this is called delegating constructors)):
)
------
class C
{
int j;
this()
{
...
}
this(int i)
{
$(B this)();
j = i;
}
}
------
If no call to constructors via $(B this) or $(B super) appear
in a constructor, and the base class has a constructor, a call
to $(B super)() is inserted at the beginning of the constructor.
<p>
If there is no constructor for a class, but there is a constructor
for the base class, a default constructor of the form:
------
this() { }
------
$(P is implicitly generated.)
$(P Class object construction is very flexible, but some restrictions
apply:)
$(OL
$(LI It is illegal for constructors to mutually call each other:
------
this() { this(1); }
this(int i) { this(); } // illegal, cyclic constructor calls
------
)
$(LI If any constructor call appears inside a constructor, any
path through the constructor must make exactly one constructor
call:
------
this() { a || super(); } // illegal
this() { (a) ? this(1) : super(); } // ok
this()
{
for (...)
{
super(); // illegal, inside loop
}
}
------
)
$(LI It is illegal to refer to $(B this) implicitly or explicitly
prior to making a constructor call.)
$(LI Constructor calls cannot appear after labels (in order to make
it easy to check for the previous conditions in the presence of goto's).)
)
$(P Instances of class objects are created with $(I NewExpression)s:)
------
A a = new A(3);
------
$(P The following steps happen:)
$(OL
$(LI Storage is allocated for the object.
If this fails, rather than return $(B null), an
$(B OutOfMemoryException) is thrown.
Thus, tedious checks for null references are unnecessary.
)
$(LI The raw data is statically initialized using the values provided
in the class definition.
The pointer to the vtbl[] (the array of pointers to virtual functions)
is assigned.
This ensures that constructors are
passed fully formed objects for which virtual functions can be called.
This operation is equivalent to doing a memory copy of a static
version of the object onto the newly allocated one,
although more advanced compilers
may be able to optimize much of this away.
)
$(LI If there is a constructor defined for the class,
the constructor matching the
argument list is called.
)
$(LI If class invariant checking is turned on, the class invariant
is called at the end of the constructor.
)
)
<h3>$(LNAME2 destructors, Destructors)</h3>
$(GRAMMAR
$(GNAME Destructor):
$(B ~this()) $(GLINK2 function, FunctionBody)
)
The garbage collector calls the destructor function when the object
is deleted. The syntax
is:
------
class Foo
{
~this() // destructor for Foo
{
}
}
------
$(P There can be only one destructor per class, the destructor
does not have any parameters,
and has no attributes. It is always virtual.
)
$(P The destructor is expected to release any resources held by the
object.
)
$(P The program can explicitly inform the garbage collector that an
object is no longer referred to (with the delete expression), and
then the garbage collector calls the destructor
immediately, and adds the object's memory to the free storage.
The destructor is guaranteed to never be called twice.
)
$(P The destructor for the super class automatically gets called when
the destructor ends. There is no way to call the super destructor
explicitly.
)
$(P The garbage collector is not guaranteed to run the destructor
for all unreferenced objects. Furthermore, the order in which the
garbage collector calls destructors for unreference objects
is not specified.
This means that
when the garbage collector calls a destructor for an object of a class
that has
members that are references to garbage collected objects, those
references may no longer be valid. This means that destructors
cannot reference sub objects.
This rule does not apply to auto objects or objects deleted
with the $(I DeleteExpression), as the destructor is not being run
by the garbage collector, meaning all references are valid.
)
$(P Objects referenced from the data segment never get collected
by the gc.
)
<h3>Static Constructors</h3>
$(GRAMMAR
$(GNAME StaticConstructor):
$(B static this()) $(GLINK2 function, FunctionBody)
)
A static constructor is defined as a function that performs
initializations before the
$(TT main()) function gets control. Static constructors are used to
initialize
static class members
with values that cannot be computed at compile time.
<p>
Static constructors in other languages are built implicitly by using
member
initializers that can't be computed at compile time. The trouble with
this stems from not
having good control over exactly when the code is executed, for example:
------
class Foo
{
static int a = b + 1;
static int b = a * 2;
}
------
What values do a and b end up with, what order are the initializations
executed in, what
are the values of a and b before the initializations are run, is this a
compile error, or is this
a runtime error? Additional confusion comes from it not being obvious if
an initializer is
static or dynamic.
<p>
D makes this simple. All member initializations must be determinable by
the compiler at
compile time, hence there is no order-of-evaluation dependency for
member
initializations, and it is not possible to read a value that has not
been initialized. Dynamic
initialization is performed by a static constructor, defined with
a special syntax $(TT static this()).
------
class Foo
{
static int a; // default initialized to 0
static int b = 1;
static int c = b + a; // error, not a constant initializer
$(B static this)() // static constructor
{
a = b + 1; // a is set to 2
b = a * 2; // b is set to 4
}
}
------
$(TT static this()) is called by the startup code before
$(TT main()) is called. If it returns normally
(does not throw an exception), the static destructor is added
to the list of functions to be
called on program termination.
Static constructors have empty parameter lists.
<p>
Static constructors within a module are executed in the lexical
order in which they appear.
All the static constructors for modules that are directly or
indirectly imported
are executed before the static constructors for the importer.
<p>
The $(B static) in the static constructor declaration is not
an attribute, it must appear immediately before the $(B this):
------
class Foo
{
static this() { ... } // a static constructor
static private this() { ... } // not a static constructor
static
{
this() { ... } // not a static constructor
}
static:
this() { ... } // not a static constructor
}
------
<h3>Static Destructors</h3>
$(GRAMMAR
$(GNAME StaticDestructor):
$(B static ~this()) $(GLINK2 function, FunctionBody)
)
A static destructor is defined as a special static function with the
syntax $(TT static ~this()).
------
class Foo
{
static ~this() // static destructor
{
}
}
------
A static destructor gets called on program termination, but only if
the static constructor
completed successfully.
Static destructors have empty parameter lists.
Static destructors get called in the reverse order that the static
constructors were called in.
<p>
The $(B static) in the static destructor declaration is not
an attribute, it must appear immediately before the $(B ~this):
------
class Foo
{
static ~this() { ... } // a static destructor
static private ~this() { ... } // not a static destructor
static
{
~this() { ... } // not a static destructor
}
static:
~this() { ... } // not a static destructor
}
------
$(V2
<h3>Shared Static Constructors</h3>
$(GRAMMAR
$(GNAME SharedStaticConstructor):
$(B shared static this()) $(GLINK2 function, FunctionBody)
)
$(P Shared static constructors are executed before any $(GLINK StaticConstructor)s,
and are intended for initializing any shared global data.
)
<h3>Shared Static Destructors</h3>
$(GRAMMAR
$(GNAME SharedStaticDestructor):
$(B shared static ~this()) $(GLINK2 function, FunctionBody)
)
$(P Shared static destructors are executed at program termination
in the reverse order that
$(GLINK SharedStaticConstructor)s were executed.
)
)
<h3>$(LNAME2 invariants, Class Invariants)</h3>
$(GRAMMAR
$(GNAME Invariant):
$(B invariant()) $(GLINK2 statement, BlockStatement)
)
Class invariants are used to specify characteristics of a class that always
must be true (except while executing a member function). For example, a
class representing a date might have an invariant that the day must be 1..31
and the hour must be 0..23:
------
class Date
{
int day;
int hour;
$(B invariant())
{
assert(1 <= day && day <= 31);
assert(0 <= hour && hour < 24);
}
}
------
$(P The class invariant is a contract saying that the asserts must hold
true.
The invariant is checked when a class constructor completes,
at the start of the class destructor, before a public or exported
member is run, and after a public or exported function finishes.
)
$(P The code in the invariant may not call any public non-static members
of the
class, either directly or indirectly.
Doing so will result in a stack overflow, as the invariant will wind
up being called in an infinitely recursive manner.
)
$(P Since the invariant is called at the start of public or
exported members, such members should not be called from
constructors.
)
------
class Foo
{
public void f() { }
private void g() { }
$(B invariant())
{
f(); // error, cannot call public member function from invariant
g(); // ok, g() is not public
}
}
------
The invariant
can be checked when a class object is the argument to an
<code>assert()</code> expression, as:
------
Date mydate;
...
assert(mydate); // check that class Date invariant holds
------
Invariants contain assert expressions, and so when they fail,
they throw a $(TT AssertError)s.
Class invariants are inherited, that is,
any class invariant is implicitly anded with the invariants of its base
classes.
<p>
There can be only one $(I Invariant) per class.
<p>
When compiling for release, the invariant code is not generated, and the compiled program
runs at maximum speed.
<h3>$(LNAME2 allocators, Class Allocators)</h3>
$(GRAMMAR
$(GNAME ClassAllocator):
$(B new) $(GLINK2 declaration, Parameters) $(GLINK2 function, FunctionBody)
)
A class member function of the form:
------
new(uint size)
{
...
}
------
is called a class allocator.
The class allocator can have any number of parameters, provided
the first one is of type uint.
Any number can be defined for a class, the correct one is
determined by the usual function overloading rules.
When a new expression:
------
new Foo;
------
is executed, and Foo is a class that has
an allocator, the allocator is called with the first argument
set to the size in bytes of the memory to be allocated for the
instance.
The allocator must allocate the memory and return it as a
$(TT void*).
If the allocator fails, it must not return a $(B null), but
must throw an exception.
If there is more than one parameter to the allocator, the
additional arguments are specified within parentheses after
the $(B new) in the $(I NewExpression):
------
class Foo
{
this(char[] a) { ... }
new(uint size, int x, int y)
{
...
}
}
...
new(1,2) Foo(a); // calls new(Foo.sizeof,1,2)
------
$(P Derived classes inherit any allocator from their base class,
if one is not specified.
)
$(P The class allocator is not called if the instance is created
on the stack.
)
$(P See also
$(LINK2 memory.html#newdelete, Explicit Class Instance Allocation).
)
<h3>$(LNAME2 deallocators, Class Deallocators)</h3>
$(GRAMMAR
$(GNAME ClassDeallocator):
$(B delete) $(GLINK2 declaration, Parameters) $(GLINK2 function, FunctionBody)
)
A class member function of the form:
------
delete(void *p)
{
...
}
------
is called a class deallocator.
The deallocator must have exactly one parameter of type $(TT void*).
Only one can be specified for a class.
When a delete expression:
------
delete f;
------
$(P is executed, and f is a reference to a class instance that has
a deallocator, the deallocator is called with a pointer to the
class instance after the destructor (if any) for the class is
called. It is the responsibility of the deallocator to free
the memory.
)
$(P Derived classes inherit any deallocator from their base class,
if one is not specified.
)
$(P The class allocator is not called if the instance is created
on the stack.
)
$(P See also
$(LINK2 memory.html#newdelete, Explicit Class Instance Allocation).
)
$(V2
<h3>$(LNAME2 AliasThis, Alias This)</h3>
$(GRAMMAR
$(GNAME AliasThis):
$(B alias) $(I Identifier) $(B this;)
)
$(P An $(I AliasThis) declaration names another class or struct member
to which any undefined lookups will be forwarded.
The $(I Identifier) names that member.
)
$(P A class or struct can be implicitly converted to the $(I AliasThis)
member.
)
$(P There is only one $(I AliasThis) allowed per class or struct.
)
---
struct S
{ int x;
alias x this;
}
int foo(int i) { return i * 2; }
void test()
{
S s;
s.x = 7;
int i = -s; // i == -7
i = s + 8; // i == 15
i = s + s; // i == 14
i = 9 + s; // i == 16
i = foo(s); // implicit conversion to int
}
---
)
<h3>$(LNAME2 auto, Scope Classes)</h3>
A scope class is a class with the $(B scope) attribute, as in:
------
scope class Foo { ... }
------
The scope characteristic is inherited, so if any classes derived
from a scope class are also scope.
<p>
An scope class reference can only appear as a function local variable.
It must be declared as being $(B scope):
------
scope class Foo { ... }
void func()
{
Foo f; // error, reference to scope class must be scope
scope Foo g = new Foo(); // correct
}
------
When an scope class reference goes out of scope, the destructor
(if any) for it is automatically called. This holds true even if
the scope was exited via a thrown exception.
<h3>$(LNAME2 final, Final Classes)</h3>
$(P Final classes cannot be subclassed:)
---
final class A { }
class B : A { } // error, class A is final
---
<h2>$(LNAME2 nested, Nested Classes)</h2>
A $(I nested class) is a class that is declared inside the scope
of a function or another class.
A nested class has access to the variables and other symbols
of the classes and functions it is nested inside:
------
class Outer
{
int m;
class Inner
{
int foo()
{
return m; // Ok to access member of Outer
}
}
}
void func()
{ int m;
class Inner
{
int foo()
{
return m; // Ok to access local variable m of func()
}
}
}
------
If a nested class has the $(B static) attribute, then it can
not access variables of the enclosing scope that are local to the
stack or need a $(B this):
------
class Outer
{
int m;
static int n;
static class Inner
{
int foo()
{
return m; // Error, Inner is static and m needs a $(B this)
return n; // Ok, n is static
}
}
}
void func()
{ int m;
static int n;
static class Inner
{
int foo()
{
return m; // Error, Inner is static and m is local to the stack
return n; // Ok, n is static
}
}
}
------
Non-static nested classes work by containing an extra hidden member
(called the context pointer)
that is the frame pointer of the enclosing function if it is nested
inside a function, or the $(B this) of the enclosing class's instance
if it is nested inside a class.
<p>
When a non-static nested class is instantiated, the context pointer
is assigned before the class's constructor is called, therefore
the constructor has full access to the enclosing variables.
A non-static nested class can only be instantiated when the necessary
context pointer information is available:
------
class Outer
{
class Inner { }
static class SInner { }
}
void func()
{
class Nested { }
Outer o = new Outer; // Ok
Outer.Inner oi = new Outer.Inner; // Error, no 'this' for Outer
Outer.SInner os = new Outer.SInner; // Ok
Nested n = new Nested; // Ok
}
------
While a non-static nested class can access the stack variables
of its enclosing function, that access becomes invalid once
the enclosing function exits:
------
class Base
{
int foo() { return 1; }
}
Base func()
{ int m = 3;
class Nested : Base
{
int foo() { return m; }
}
Base b = new Nested;
assert(b.foo() == 3); // Ok, func() is still active
return b;
}
int test()
{
Base b = func();
return b.foo(); // Error, func().m is undefined
}
------
If this kind of functionality is needed, the way to make it work
is to make copies of the needed variables within the nested class's
constructor:
------
class Base
{
int foo() { return 1; }
}
Base func()
{ int m = 3;
class Nested : Base
{ int m_;
this() { m_ = m; }
int foo() { return m_; }
}
Base b = new Nested;
assert(b.foo() == 3); // Ok, func() is still active
return b;
}
int test()
{
Base b = func();
return b.foo(); // Ok, using cached copy of func().m
}
------
$(P A $(I this) can be supplied to the creation of an
inner class instance by prefixing it to the $(I NewExpression):
)
---------
class Outer
{ int a;
class Inner
{
int foo()
{
return a;
}
}
}
int bar()
{
Outer o = new Outer;
o.a = 3;
Outer.Inner oi = $(B o).new Inner;
return oi.foo(); // returns 3
}
---------
$(P Here $(B o) supplies the $(I this) to the outer class
instance of $(B Outer).
)
$(P The property $(B .outer) used in a nested class gives the
$(B this) pointer to its enclosing class. If the enclosing
context is not a class, the $(B .outer) will give the pointer
to it as a $(B void*) type.
)
----
class Outer
{
class Inner
{
Outer foo()
{
return this.$(B outer);
}
}
void bar()
{
Inner i = new Inner;
assert(this == i.foo());
}
}
void test()
{
Outer o = new Outer;
o.bar();
}
----
<h3>$(LNAME2 anonymous, Anonymous Nested Classes)</h3>
$(P An anonymous nested class is both defined and instantiated with
a $(I NewAnonClassExpression):
)
$(GRAMMAR
$(GNAME NewAnonClassExpression):
$(B new) $(GLINK ParenArgumentList)$(OPT) $(B class) $(I ParenArgumentList)$(OPT) $(GLINK SuperClass)$(OPT) $(GLINK InterfaceClasses)$(OPT) $(GLINK ClassBody)
$(GNAME ParenArgumentList):
$(B $(LPAREN)) $(I ArgumentList) $(B $(RPAREN))
)
$(P which is equivalent to:
)
------
class $(I Identifier) : $(I SuperClass) $(I InterfaceClasses)
$(I ClassBody)
new ($(I ArgumentList)) $(I Identifier) ($(I ArgumentList));
------
$(P where $(I Identifier) is the name generated for the anonymous
nested class.
)
$(V2
$(SECTION3 <a name="ConstClass">Const, Immutable and Shared Classes</a>,
$(P If a $(I ClassDeclaration) has a $(CODE const), $(CODE immutable)
or $(CODE shared)
storage class, then it is as if each member of the class
was declared with that storage class.
If a base class is const, immutable or shared, then all classes derived
from it are also const, immutable or shared.
)
)
)
)
Macros:
TITLE=Classes
WIKI=Class
CATEGORY_SPEC=$0
GLINK=$(LINK2 #$0, $(I $0))
GNAME=<a name=$0>$(I $0)</a>
DOLLAR=$
FOO=
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