[webkit-dev] Do we have a style preference about const member functions?

Geoffrey Garen ggaren at apple.com
Tue May 31 10:59:38 PDT 2011

>>> Even in a class that is used in a tree, I still think simple member variable accessor methods (that do not return tree neighbors)  should be const.
>> OK. Why?
> Because it indicates to me and the compiler, that the method doesn't have side effects.

A const member function can have side effects. It can modify any global state outside the object. It can also modify sub-objects inside the object, and return non-const references to sub-objects and related objects that might be used to produce side-effects at any time.

It's exactly statements like this that make me think that const member functions are a bad idea -- people think they provide a guarantee, but they don't.


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