Skip to main content

Object oriented SDK development

Object oriented programming
If you are someone who is into object oriented SDK development and looking for some best practices on API design, I have got you covered here. I have used C++ as the base to explain the core. OpenCV is one of the frameworks I have come across that does an exceptional job in providing classic and productive APIs in C++. Let's not waste time an quickly jump into the best practices of object oriented API design.

Design easy-to-read API names

First and foremost thing to consider in an object oriented SDK is the API name itself. Your API names should reveal everything. Keeping APIs as small as possible can be a difficult task but that is what you should deliver. The API should do what the name says. Nothing more. Nothing less. 

Write your headers and review it

Before you jump into development, it is important to code what the user wants. To have a crosscheck on that, write a header file(.h or .hpp) containing the public/private functions and data members. In this process, you can eliminate methods and data members that is not needed for the SDK user.

Hide your implementation details

In a closed source SDK where only headers will be given, every single word in your header matters. You would not want to expose any of your implementation details. So hide data members that are not 100% required to be exposed.

In that case where you cant have a data member in private or public, but still you want to access it from another class, you have many options like

  • Friend class
  • Inheritance
  • Pimpl idioms, etc.

A Constructor's workload

Mostly, constructors would be used to initialize the variables. But it is also used to allocate memories and initialize using other functions. The problem with the latter is sometimes when memory allocation fails, constructors cannot return errors. Keeping all these in mind, it is always advised to have a separate method for initialization to allocate memories.

Maintain a standard

When it comes to maintaining your source, there are many places where you should follow standards throughout the code. Listed below are some of them: 
  • If you use pointers, use only pointers throughout. If you use references use only references throughout. Bringing both might lead to some confusion.
  • Use namespaces along with the function names in all the usages.
  • Have a template for prolonging/recursive namespace usages.

Error handling

There are many ways to handle errors if you are a C++ developer. But I like enums. Enums allow you to maintain error messages really well. Have a common numbering pattern to maintain your error messages. 

Getters and setters

Have getters and setters for the private members. In some cases where private variables can only be given read access and not write access, can opt for read-only objects. This is however, a standard practice in object oriented programming.

Object oriented programming
Meme section has its say on OOPS B-)

I have listed only some of the best practices while developing an object oriented SDK."API designs for C++" by Martin Reddy is a book that explains many more practices in brief with realtime examples is a very useful one to consider. If you feel you have some more best practices, you are free to mention them in the comments section.


Popular posts from this blog

Golden debugging practices for a software developer

Debugging is really a hard and challenging phase in software development. It needs to be taken care and can be a highly sellable skill if you are good in debugging. Days would come where you should have mental skills to tackle the questions thrown by bugs. Let's have a look at some of the techniques in debugging right from the basic level.Don't PanicBe it at your desk or at a quality analyst's cabin or even when reading the mail of the bug raised, key idea is not to panic. There will be moments of critical issues being reported in a difficult time of a milestone. One should overcome the mental fights and focus on what the issue is.
Give importance to key detailsNow you are in the place of a crime scene. You are investigating the crime scene. So take note of every available details in the console, the behavior, debug logs if any, etc. Get back to your desk and analyze the data you collected. You might have some thoughts right away if you are lucky.
Don't believe the bug i…

5 Ubuntu essentials needed for a developer

Ubuntu is the most developer friendly OS I have ever used so far. I will sketch the essentials that I love as a developer and I also believe it betters the productivity on any given day. At the end of this post, you will figure out new tools and options available in Ubuntu that you would want to make the most of it.

SSHIf you are collaborating or developing using multiple devices that is connected to a network, you would require access files remotely. SSH is a tool which does exactly that. Install ssh which is always available in apt-get and you can install it with ease.
SCPThis is similar to SSH. But using scp, you can transfer any number of files seamlessly over the same network. The speeds of copying large files tend to vary a lot subject to which type of network you are using. The speeds in WiFi are slower than using an ethernet.
WorkspacesWorkspaces are available in Ubuntu that I am a big fan of . For developers who prefer using keyboards over mouses, workspaces would make your j…