Discussion





Discussion

This statement is more general than Item 18's specific treatment.

Avoid data with external linkage at namespace scope or as static class members. These complicate program logic and cause tighter coupling between different (and, worse, distant) parts of the program. Shared data weakens unit testing because the correctness of a piece of code that uses shared data is conditioned on the history of changes to the data, and further conditions the functioning of acres of yet-unknown code that subsequently uses the data further.

Names of objects in the global namespace additionally pollute the global namespace.

If you must have global, namespace-scope, or static class objects, be sure to initialize such objects carefully. The order of initialization of such objects in different compilation units is undefined, and special techniques are needed to handle it correctly (see References). The order-of-initialization rules are subtle; prefer to avoid them, but if you do have to use them then know them well and use them with great care.

Objects that are at namespace scope, static members, or shared across threads or processes will reduce parallelism in multithreaded and multiprocessor environments and are a frequent source of performance and scalability bottlenecks. (See Item 7.) Strive for "shared-nothing;" prefer communication (e.g., message queues) over data sharing.

Prefer low coupling and minimized interactions between classes. (See [Cargill92].)


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