In my previous post, we learned about the current and future state of reflection in C++. But I left a few questions unanswered. Indeed, you may still be wondering why I care so much about reflection and if it has any useful applications for the average programmer. In this post, I’ll try to answer that question with real code examples using the two reference implementations of C++ reflection. I’ll explore the strengths of the two implementations, as well as the major limitations. These examples make heavy use of metaprogramming and C++17 features, so if you find yourself in unfamiliar territory while reading the code, I suggest supplementing this article with other resources.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. You are working on a messaging middleware, a game engine, a UI library, or any other large software project that has to deal with an ever-growing, ever-changing number of objects. These objects have many different qualities but can be grouped by their functionality: they can be sent across the network or collided with or rendered.
I’ve noticed that in the C++ vernacular, function objects are frequently referred to as functors.
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