# the PDO type in C++

What is a "POD type"?

A type that consists of nothing but Plain Old Data.

A POD type is a C++ type that has an equivalent in C, and that uses the same
rules as C uses for initialization, copying, layout, and addressing.

As an example, the C declaration struct Fred x; does not initialize the members
of the Fred variable x. To make this same behavior happen in C++, Fred would
need to not have any constructors. Similarly to make the C++ version of
copying the same as the C version, the C++ Fred must not have overloaded
the assignment operator. To make sure the other rules match, the C++ version
must not have virtual functions, base classes, non-static members that are
private or protected, or a destructor. It can, however, have static data
members, static member functions, and non-static non-virtual member functions

The actual definition of a POD type is recursive and gets a little gnarly
. Here's a slightly simplified definition of POD: a POD type's non-static
data members must be public and can be of any of these types: bool, any
numeric type including the various char variants, any enumeration type, any
data-pointer type (that is, any type convertible to void*), any pointer-
to-function type, or any POD type, including arrays of any of these. Note
: data-pointers and pointers-to-function are okay, but pointers-to-member
are not. Also note that references are not allowed. In addition, a POD type
can't have constructors, virtual functions, base classes, or an overloaded

assignment operator.

=======================================================================================

## POD Types Revisited

【引自：http://www.informit.com/guides/content.aspx?g=cplusplus&seqNum=309】

Some members of the standards committee feel that the current definition of POD types is too strict. They’re proposing changes to the definition of POD classes to solve some of the problem that the C++98 definition causes. However, the new proposal also introduces some new problems, as you will shortly see.

#### Problems with the C++98 Definition of POD types

The current definition of POD types forces users to make unhealthy design choices in certain scenarios, without any real justification. Let’s look at a few common examples.

Assume a program that has two arrays a1 and a2 of type std::pair<int,int>. Most programmers expect that:

memcpy(a2,a1,sizeof(a2));


should be safe. Indeed, I find it hard to imagine an implementation in which a byte-for-byte copy ofstd::pair<int,int> shouldn’t work properly. However, C++ 98 doesn’t guarantee that. It says that byte-for-byte copying is safe only when it applies to POD types. Becausestd::pair<T,U> has a non-trivial constructor, it isn’t a POD type and therefore usingmemcpy() in this context causes undefined behavior. In practice, programmers often ignore this and use memcpy() for copying objects that aren’t POD-types. This situation isn’t ideal, to say the least. The recentN2062 proposal solves this problem. Before I examine the new proposal, let’s look at other problematic cases.

Consider the following struct. The standard guarantees that by-for-byte copying of instances ofS should be safe:

struct S
{
int n;
};
S s1[2],s2[2];
s1[0].n = s1[1].n=9;
memcpy(&s2, &s1, sizeof(s1)); //fine, S is POD

However, if you modify S slightly:

struct T //S with a minor change
{
int n;
T(val) : n(val) { }
};


All bets are off now. T is no longer a POD type because it has a non-trivial constructor.Serializing an array ofT objects to a file and then deserializing it isn’t guaranteed to work. By contrast, serializing and deserializing an array ofS is safe. This distinction between S and T, which are practically identical in their layouts, seems arbitrary and unintuitive. The new proposal solves this issue by makingT a POD type.

Different access types change PODness:

struct A //POD in C++98
{
int n;
double y;
};

struct B //non-POD in C++98
{
private:
int n;
double y;
};

In practice, all implementations use an identical memory layout for A andB. Programmers therefore expect that serializing an array of B objects and deserializing it later, or copying one array ofB objects to another array of B using memcpy() should be safe. However,B is not a POD type in C++98 and therefore neither serialization nor memcpy() are guaranteed to work. The N2062 proposal solves this problem by allowing a POD type to have private data members, as long as all data members have the same access specifier.

#### Enter the New POD Definition

The new proposal decomposes the byte-copyability requirement from the stricter POD requirements. As a result, types that are considered in C++98 as non-POD can still be byte-copyable. Furthermore, the C++98 definition of POD types relies on the definition of aggregates. The new proposal decouples these two concepts of POD types and aggregates.

The new proposal defines a byte-copyable class as:

...a class that has a trivial copy constructor, a trivial copy assignment operator, and a trivial destructor. [Note: Among other requirements, that precludes virtual functions, virtual bases, and members or bases with non-trivial copy constructors, copy assignments, or destructors]

This relaxed definition allows types to define a constructor while still remaining byte-copyable. Additionally, such a class may have non-public data members as long as all data members have the same access type. However, it’s unclear whether classC is byte-copyable or not:

class C
{
private:
int x;
private:
char y;
};

According to the C++98 standard, "[t]he order of allocation of nonstatic data members separated by anaccess-specifier is unspecified (9.2/12)." The standard doesn’t say that the access specifiers have to be different, though. Therefore, classC doesn’t necessarily have the same binary layout as that of class D:

class D
{
private:
int x;
char y;
};

I agree that the ice here is thin. The new proposal should address this issue more explicitly, though.

The new proposal defines POD types as a subset of byte-copyable types that meet additional requirements. APOD-struct is a byte-copyable class that:

• Shall not have nonstatic data members of type non-POD-struct, non-POD-union (see below), arrays of such types or reference types.
• All non-static data members thereof shall have the same access control (but note 9.2/12 above).
• It shall neither have non-POD base classes, nor base classes with data members.

The following types are all POD-structs:

struct A{}; //POD in C++98 too
struct B: A{}; //non POD in C++98
struct F{
int x;
F() : x(0) {} //non-POD in C++98
};
class G //non-POD in C++98
{
int y; //all data members have the same access type
int z;
public
G();
};

Similarly, a POD-union is defined as a union that has no nonstatic data members of type non-POD-struct, non-POD-union, arrays of such types or reference types, and has no user-declared copy assignment operator and no user-declared destructor. APOD class is a class that is either a POD-struct or a POD-union.

The following are POD-unions:

union Empty
{};
union U
{
A a[2];
B b;
};


Needless to say, arithmetic types, pointer types, pointers to members and enum types (all of which are collectively known as scalar types) remain POD types as before. Notice however that references are not POD types. This isn’t exactly a new rule; C++98 originally didn’t address the status of references. A recent Technical Corrigendum fixed this by explicitly excluding references from the set of POD types.

#### Problems with the New Proposal

Apart from the ambiguity of class C above, the proposed changes will cause some existing non-POD types to become POD types (see examples above). This silent change could disable some optimizations that are applicable to non-POD types exclusively. To ensure that a C++98 non-POD type remain a non-POD types under the new rules, the authors recommend adding an empty destructor definition. For example,

struct B
{
private:
int n;
double y;
};

In C++98 B is a non-POD type since it has non-public nonstatic data members. According to the new proposal,B becomes a POD-type. If this silent change is undesirable (for example, if you still want to allow the compiler to optimize memory layout by reordering members), you need to modify the definition ofB to:

struct B
{
private:
int n;
double y;
public:
B(){}
};

This recommendation isn’t ideal, though. First, users of third-party classes may not have access to the definitions of classes that they are using. Additionally, adding an empty destructor might tempt code reviewers to remove the seemingly useless destructor (personally, that’s what I do when I see such destructors today!). Finally, if the destructor has the incorrect access type because the access type wasn’t explicitly specified, you will get compilation errors in source files that have compiled perfectly up until now. The best solution is to introduce a transitional compiler flag or macro that guarantees the POD-ness of types.

===============================================================

# What are POD types in C++?

【引自：http://stackoverflow.com/questions/146452/what-are-pod-types-in-c】

Very informally:

A POD is a type (including classes) where the C++ compiler guarantees that there will be no "magic" going on in the structure: for example hidden pointers to vtables, offsets that get applied to the address when it is cast to other types (at least if the target's POD too), constructors, or destructors. Roughly speaking, a type is a POD when the only things in it are built-in types and combinations of them. The result is something that "acts like" a C type.

Less informally:

• int, char, wchar_t, bool, float, double are PODs, as are long/short and signed/unsigned versions of them.
• pointers (including pointer-to-function and pointer-to-member) are PODs,
• enums are PODs
• a const or volatile POD is a POD.
• a class, struct or union of PODs is a POD provided that all members are public, and it has no base class and no constructors, destructors, or virtual methods. Static members don't stop something being a POD under this rule.
• Wikipedia is wrong to say that a POD cannot have members of type pointer-to-member. Or rather, it's correct for the C++98 wording, but TC1 made explicit that pointers-to-member are POD.

Here's what the C++ standard says:

3.9(10): "Arithmetic types (3.9.1), enumeration types, pointer types, and pointer to member types (3.9.2) and cv-qualified versions of these types (3.9.3) are collectively caller scalar types. Scalar types, POD-struct types, POD-union types (clause 9), arrays of such types and cv-qualified versions of these types (3.9.3) are collectively called POD types"

9(4): "A POD-struct is an aggregate class that has no non-static data members of type non-POD-struct, non-POD-union (or array of such types) or reference, and has no user-define copy operator and no user-defined destructor. Similarly a POD-union is an aggregate union that has no non-static data members of type non-POD-struct, non-POD-union (or array of such types) or reference, and has no user-define copy operator and no user-defined destructor.

8.5.1(1): "An aggregate is an array or class (clause 9) with no user-declared constructors (12.1), no private or protected non-static data members (clause 11), no base classes (clause 10) and no virtual functions (10.3)."

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