8.13 Virtual Base Classes
A derived class object consists of a concatenation in memory of the data
areas defined by each base class, starting with the leftmost and ending
with the rightmost in the list of base classes. The exception to this
rule is for virtual inheritance. In the example above, class
inherits virtually from base class
B. This means that an
instance of a
D object will not contain its own
B part but
merely a pointer to a
B part, known as a virtual base pointer.
In a derived class stab, the base offset part of the derivation
information, described above, shows how the base class parts are
ordered. The base offset for a virtual base class is always given as 0.
Notice that the base offset for
B is given as 0 even though
B is not the first base class. The first base class
starts at offset 0.
The field information part of the stab for class
D describes the field
which is the pointer to the virtual base class
B. The vbase pointer
name is $vb followed by a type reference to the virtual base class.
Since the type id for
B in this example is 25, the vbase pointer name
.stabs "D:Tt31=s32!3,000,20;100,25;0264,28;$vb25:24,128;Ddat:1, 160,32;A_virt::32=##1;:i;2A*-2147483647;20;;B_virt::32:i; 2A*-2147483647;25;;C_virt::32:i;2A*-2147483647;28;;D_virt: :32:i;2A*-2147483646;31;;;~%20;",128,0,0,0
Following the name and a semicolon is a type reference describing the
type of the virtual base class pointer, in this case 24. Type 24 was
defined earlier as the type of the
this pointer. The
this pointer for a class is a pointer to the class type.
Finally the field offset part of the vbase pointer field description
shows that the vbase pointer is the first field in the
before any data fields defined by the class. The layout of a
class object is a follows,
Adat at 0, the vtable pointer for
A at 32,
Cdat at 64, the vtable pointer for C at 96, the
virtual base pointer for
B at 128, and
Ddat at 160.