Pretend everything is a primitive

Design your classes so that using them is just like using a primitive type in C. This allows the client to use them in a style which is natural for C. In cases where you want to avoid copying, pass arguments by reference. Use pointers only when you want a truly dynamic data structure, or when polymorphism demands it (note that references allow for polymorphism also, as they are really just a different kind of pointer).

If your problem naturally calls for value semantics, but you don't want to pay the overhead of copying, see "Surrogate objects" on page 121.

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