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C++ Primer Plus, Fourth Edition by Stephen Prata

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Inline Functions

Let's begin by examining inline functions, a C++ enhancement designed to speed up programs. The primary distinction between normal functions and inline functions is not in how you code them but in how the C++ compiler incorporates them into a program. To understand the distinction between inline functions and normal functions, you need to peer more deeply into a program's innards than we have so far. Let's do that now.

The final product of the compilation process is an executable program, which consists of a set of machine language instructions. When you start a program, the operating system loads these instructions into the computer's memory, so each instruction has a particular memory address. The computer then goes through ...

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