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Discussion

Most of us have learned through bitter experience to make class members private by default unless we really need to expose them. That’s just good encapsulation. This wisdom is applied most frequently to data members (see Item 41), but it applies equally to all members, including virtual functions.

Particularly in OO hierarchies that are expensive to change, prefer full abstraction: Prefer to make public functions nonvirtual, and prefer to make virtual functions private (or protected if derived classes need to be able to call the base versions). This is the Nonvirtual Interface (NVI) pattern. (NVI is similar to other patterns, notably Template Method [Gamma95], but has a distinct motivation and purpose.)


  

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