Aaron Ballman is a security software engineer for CERT (a part of the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University). He has over a decade of experience writing cross-platform frameworks in C/C++, compiler & language design, and software engineering best practices and is currently a voting member of the C++ standards committee (WG21).
In case you can't figure it out easily enough, the views expressed here are my personal views and not the views of my employer, my past employers, my future employers, or some random person on the street. Please yell only at me if you disagree with what you read.
Category Archives: Framework Design
In C++, there are two forms of binary operator overloading you can use when designing an API. The first form is to overload the operator as a member function of the class, and the second form is to overload the … Continue reading
As a framework designer, you have a lot of things to worry about. Calling conventions, size compatibility, structure layout, etc. I’d like to briefly talk about another thing to worry about: memory management. I’m not just talking about “please don’t … Continue reading
One of the things that most C/C++ programmers start to take for granted is memory. It’s always there, and when used properly, it always “just works.” However, frameworks throw a bit of a monkey wrench into the equation because they … Continue reading
When creating cross-platform frameworks, text encodings can be a hairy topic. There are multiple different encodings to choose from as well as edge cases to be concerned about. This post is going to cover some suggestions on how to handle … Continue reading
Most of the frameworks that I work on need to be usable from multiple programming languages (typically, C++, C# and Objective-C, but sometimes more). This means I must target the lowest common denominator in terms of the function prototypes, so … Continue reading
One of the neat, new language features of C++0x that is targeted firmly at framework designers is the ability to declare “inline” namespaces. While the name may seem a bit strange at first, the concept is quite intuitive. It allows … Continue reading
The code looks innocuous enough, but something as simple as this can be the source of hard to track down bugs. I want to talk a bit about the dangers of returning stack-based values.
Exceptions are a topic near and dear to my heart, mostly because I have some strong opinions about the benefits and disadvantages of exceptions. But this isn’t a blog posting about whether exceptions are good or not. Instead, this is … Continue reading
As someone who develops cross-platform and cross-language frameworks, a frequent problem I run up against are enumerations. They’re a very handy construct for a framework designer to use because they allow you to logically group related constants together with some … Continue reading
Calling conventions are something you generally don’t have to worry about as a programmer because the compiler usually takes care of everything for you. But when you start interacting with code outside of your control (such as shared libraries), calling … Continue reading