View Full Version : [SOLVED] Cpp reference memory loss

March 13th, 2008, 07:47 AM
Hi :-)

Iam a Cpp beginner and trying to write a XML-Parser. Several days ago, i found a tool in these forums to find memory leaks in a program...

class XMLNode
XMLNode &getNextNode( )
// finding next node...
// ...

XMLNode* newNode = new XMLNode(/*params*/); // line of the memory leak according to valgrind
return *node;

char* xml;
char* startingPosition;
char* currentPosition;
char* endingPosition;

I had to copy the code by hand, so if there are typos, sorr.. the code runs...

My question is how can I return a reference/pointer of XMLNode in this function without memory loss... or do I have to return a normal (eg. non-pointer) XMLNode... I want to enable the user of this class to use it like this:


There are exactly 16 Bytes lost according to valgrind... The pointers are filled with a value within the constructor and all point to the same char-array containing the xml-code, but the values behind these pointers are delete[]'d in another destructor...

Thanks for reading :)

March 13th, 2008, 09:15 AM
1. Your new XMLNode call creates a XMLNode object on the heap.

2. Once your program is finished working with the returned reference, does it delete the actual object created on the heap ? Something like
delete (XMLNode*)&myNode;

March 13th, 2008, 09:40 AM
Yes :(

March 13th, 2008, 09:53 AM
myNode.getNextNode().getNextNode() in your example will leak, because the two calls to getNextNode() will result in two extra objects on the heap in addition to myNode. So you need to delete all three objects. Are you doing that ?

March 13th, 2008, 10:13 AM
Ah, now it works, i forgot an '&'

XMLNode myNode(); // basenode
XMLNode &my2ndNode = myNode.getNextNode();
delete (XMLNode*)&my2ndNode;

But i wont be able to delete the 2nd Node when i use the class like myNode.getNextNode().getNextNode();, right?

Do you think it would be senseful to register (e.g. in a vector) each created node in the 'base node' and delete them, when the base node is being destructed?

March 13th, 2008, 10:28 AM
Either maintain a registry of all allocations or use smart pointers (for example shared_ptr in http://www.boost.org/libs/smart_ptr/smart_ptr.htm).