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Home » Tip Bank » C++
Language: C++
Expertise: Intermediate
Feb 15, 2005

Creating Vectors of Pointers to the short Datatype

In most situations, it doesn't make much sense to create vectors of pointers to the short datatype. Compare these two code samples:

vector<short*> myvector; //bad code.
short * pS = new short;
*pS = 2;
myvector.push_back(ps);

//***********************************

vector<short> myvector; // good code
myvector.push_back(2);

//***********************************
You'll note that each element in vector<short> takes two bytes, whereas each element for vector<short*> takes four bytes (for the pointer on an Intel 32-bit machine) and two additional bytes on the heap (for the new short). So a short* takes a total of six bytes!

These unneccessary calls to new and delete leads to heap fragmentation and performance bottlenecks—and they can be avoided easily by using vector<short>.

vector<short> is much cleaner with lesser space requirements.

Mohit Kalra
 
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