Non-intrusive object introspection in C++

author: Tyng-Ruey Chuang, Y. S. Kuo and Chen-Min Wang
publication date: February 2002
cite this with: Tyng-Ruey Chuang, Y. S. Kuo and Chen-Min Wang. Non-intrusive object introspection in C++. Software: Practice and Experience, 32(2):191-207. February 2002.
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We describe the design and implementation of system architecture to support object introspection in C++.In this system, information is collected by parsing class declarations, and is used to build a supportingenvironment for object introspection. Our approach is non-intrusive because it requires no changes inthe original class declarations and libraries; hence, binary compatibility between objects before and afterthe addition of introspective capability is ensured. This is critical if one wants to integrate third-partyclass libraries, which are often supplied as black boxes and allow no modification, into highly dynamicapplications. We present two applications: the first is automatic I/O support for C++ objects, and the otheris interactive exercise of dynamically loaded C++ class libraries. Copyright

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