C++ – How should I order the members of a C++ class


Is it better to have all the private members, then all the protected ones, then all the public ones? Or the reverse? Or should there be multiple private, protected and public labels so that the operations can be kept separate from the constructors and so on? What issues should I take into account when making this decision?

Best Solution

I put the public interface first, but I didn't always do this. I used to do things backwards to this, with private, then protected, then public. Looking back, it didn't make a lot of sense.

As a developer of a class, you'll likely be well acquainted with its "innards" but users of the class don't much care, or at least they shouldn't. They're mostly interested in what the class can do for them, right?

So I put the public first, and organize it typically by function/utility. I don't want them to have to wade through my interface to find all the methods related to X, I want them to see all that stuff together in an organized manner.

I never use multiple public/protected/private sections - too confusing to follow in my opinion.