What does C++ smart pointer refer to?

In C++, smart pointers are a type of data structure used to manage dynamic memory, providing automated memory management to help prevent memory leaks and dangling pointers. Implemented as a class, smart pointers encapsulate the original pointers pointing to memory allocated on the heap, and automatically release the memory when their lifespan ends.

Some commonly used smart pointers in C++ include:

  1. A standard unique pointer
  2. shared pointer
  3. pointer that can be shared
  4. an object that points to a shared object without owning it
  5. a pointer shared between objects

Using smart pointers can simplify memory management, improve code safety and maintainability, and it is recommended to use smart pointers in C++ instead of raw pointers for dynamic memory management.

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