Chapter 31. The Visitor Pattern

The Visitor pattern turns the tables on our object-oriented model and creates an external class to act on data in other classes. This is useful when you have a polymorphic operation that cannot reside in the class hierarchy for some reason—for example, because the operation wasn’t considered when the hierarchy was designed or it would clutter the interface of the classes unnecessarily.


While at first it may seem “unclean” to put operations inside one class that should be in another, there are good reasons for doing so. Suppose each of a number of drawing object classes has similar code for drawing itself. The drawing methods may be different, but they probably all use underlying utility functions that ...

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