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Thinking in C++ Vol 2 - Practical Programming
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Although normally you upcast a pointer to a base class and then use the generic interface of that base class (via virtual functions), occasionally you get into a corner where things can be more effective if you know the dynamic type of the object pointed to by a base pointer, and that s what RTTI provides. The most common misuse may come from the programmer who doesn t understand virtual functions and uses RTTI to do type-check coding instead. The philosophy of C++ seems to be to provide you with powerful tools and guard for type violations and integrity, but if you want to deliberately misuse or get around a language feature, there s nothing to stop you. Sometimes a slight burn is the fastest way to gain experience.

Thinking in C++ Vol 2 - Practical Programming
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   Reproduced courtesy of Bruce Eckel, MindView, Inc. Design by Interspire