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lride

An object needs to commit suicide

9 posts in this topic

I have the following code in my project

[source lang="cpp"]Entity::handleMessage(Message* msg)
{
if(msg->type==DIE)
entityManager.destroy(this->ID);
...
}[/source]
I figured this is equivalent to

[source lang="cpp"]Entity::handleMessage(Message* msg)
{
if(msg->type==DIE)
delete this;
...
}[/source]

Is this safe?
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No, it isn't. Whoever owns this object will likely try to destroy it later on, and then you'll have a double deletion. The first version isn't safe either, because almost anything you do in the "..." section will be undefined behavior. The safe thing to do would be to schedule destruction of the object for the end of the frame, or something like that. entityManager would have a container of IDs to destroy and once per frame it would go through it and destroy everything in it.
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[quote name='Álvaro' timestamp='1353211367' post='5001930']
No, it isn't. Whoever owns this object will likely try to destroy it later on, and then you'll have a double deletion. The first version isn't safe either, because almost anything you do in the "..." section will be undefined behavior. The safe thing to do would be to schedule destruction of the object for the end of the frame, or something like that. entityManager would have a container of IDs to destroy and once per frame it would go through it and destroy everything in it.
[/quote]

I am 100% sure that this object will get deleted only once. And will it be fine if I don't try to access the object after "delete this"?
[source lang="cpp"]Entity::handleMessage(Message* msg)
{
...//do all kind of stuff beforehand
if(msg->type==DIE)
entityManager.destroy(this->ID);//(delete this;) //nothing will happen after this
}[/source] Edited by lride
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You should read this from the [url="http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite/delete-this.html"]C++ FAQ lite[/url] . If you still think that you are safe having the suicidal objects, go ahead.

Even so, I don't like to write classes that impose unreasonable constraints on the user (objects have to be allocated using new, or through an entityManager...). I like to be able to have local variables of this type, arrays of these things and what have you.

As an alternative solution, your objects could have a callback (or a signal, which is similar) that they will use when they want to die. Whoever creates the object will also provide the mechanism to get rid of it.
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Wait, [font=courier new,courier,monospace]entityManager[/font] is the one that's doing the [font=courier new,courier,monospace]delete[/font]?
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[quote name='alnite' timestamp='1353234015' post='5002003']
Wait, [font=courier new,courier,monospace]entityManager[/font] is the one that's doing the [font=courier new,courier,monospace]delete[/font]?
[/quote]
yes, but i found a better solutiom. Just keep a boolean variable "alive" and delete the dead object in the next frame
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[quote name='lride' timestamp='1353248390' post='5002039']
[quote name='alnite' timestamp='1353234015' post='5002003']
Wait, [font=courier new,courier,monospace]entityManager[/font] is the one that's doing the [font=courier new,courier,monospace]delete[/font]?
[/quote]
yes, but i found a better solutiom. Just keep a boolean variable "alive" and delete the dead object in the next frame
[/quote]

Garbage collection - yes. This is what people were suggesting.
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