Chapter 5. The Singleton Pattern: One of a Kind Objects

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Our next stop is the Singleton Pattern, our ticket to creating one-of-a-kind objects for which there is only one instance. You might be happy to know that of all patterns, the Singleton is the simplest in terms of its class diagram; in fact, the diagram holds just a single class! But don’t get too comfortable; despite its simplicity from a class design perspective, we are going to encounter quite a few bumps and potholes in its implementation. So buckle up.

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Developer: What use is that?

Guru: There are many objects we only need one of: thread pools, caches, dialog boxes, objects that handle preferences and registry settings, objects used for logging, and objects that act as device drivers to devices like printers and graphics cards. In fact, for many of these types of objects, if we were to instantiate more than one we’d run into all sorts of problems like incorrect program behavior, overuse of resources, or inconsistent results.

Developer: Okay, so maybe there are classes that should only be instantiated once, but do I need a whole chapter for this? Can’t I just do this by convention or by global variables? You know, like in Java, I could do it with a static variable.

Guru: In many ways, the Singleton Pattern is a convention for ensuring ...

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