In my previous entry, C++ RAII adapter for Xerces, I presented a simple memory management wrapper for Xerces types. Because of the way Xerces manages memory, I said, the quite handy
boost::shared_ptr couldn’t be used, so I wrote the memory management code myself to produce a safe wrapper in the style of
However, as Alf P. Steinbach pointed out, I was wrong, in that
boost::shared_ptr could be used by taking advantage of the custom deleter facility offered by that class. One benefit is that I can get rid of my hand-rolled memory management, but on the other hand, I’ll have to adjust the public interface to reflect different semantics.
Xerces is a powerful validating XML parser that supports both DOM and SAX. It’s written in a simple subset of C++, and designed to be portable across the greatest possible number of platforms. For a number of reasons, the strings used in Xerces are zero-terminated 16-bit integer arrays, and data tends to be passed around by pointers. The responsibility for managing the lifetime of the DOM data passed around is usually Xerces’, but not always. Some types must always be released explicitly, while for others, this is optional.
In other words, this is a job for the RAII idiom. Alas, we can’t reach for our
std::auto_ptr, since Xerces has its own memory manager, and when Xerces creates an object for you, it is not guaranteed to be safe to simply call
delete. Instead, you must call the object’s