SDSU CS 635 Advanced Object-Oriented Design & Programming
Spring Semester, 2004
Bridge & Builder
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San Diego State University -- This page last updated 11-Mar-04

Design Patterns: Elements of Resuable Object-Oriented Software, Gamma, Helm, Johnson, Vlissides, Addison Wesley, 1995 pp. 151-162, 97-106

Advanced C++: Programming Styles and Idioms, James Coplien, 1992, pp. 31-62, 58-72

The Design Patterns Smalltalk Companion, Alpert, Brown, Woolf, Addison Wesley, 1998, pp. 121-136, 47-62

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 2


Decouple the abstraction from its implementation

This allows the implementation to vary from its abstraction

The abstraction defines and implements the interface

All operations in the abstraction call method(s) its implementation object

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 3
What is Wrong with Using an Interface?

Make Abstraction a pure abstract class or Java interface

In client code:

Abstraction widget = new ConcreteImplA();

This will separate the abstraction from the implementation

We can vary the implementation!

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 4


Use the Bridge pattern when

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 5

Binding between abstraction & implementation

In the Bridge pattern:

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 6

Hide implementation from clients

Using just an interface the client can cheat!

   Abstraction widget = new ConcreteImplA();
   ((ConcreteImplA) widget).concreteOperation();

In the Bridge pattern the client code can not access the implementation

Java AWT uses Bridge to prevent programmer from accessing platform specific implementations of interface widgets, etc.

Peer = implementation

   public synchronized void setCursor(Cursor cursor) {
      this.cursor = cursor;
      ComponentPeer peer = this.peer;
      if (peer != null) {

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 7

Abstractions & Imps independently subclassable

Start with Widow interface and two implementations:

Now what do we do if we need some more types of windows: say IconWindow and DialogWindow?

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 8
Or using multiple inheritance

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 9
The Bridge pattern provides a cleaner solution

IconWindow and DialogWindow will add functionality to or modify existing functionality of Window

Methods in IconWindow and DialogWindow need to use the implementation methods to provide the new/modified functionality

This means that the WindowImp interface must provide the base functionality for window implementation

This does not mean that WindowImp interface must explicitly provide an iconifyWindow method

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 10

Share an implementation among multiple objects

Example use is creating smart pointers in C++

String contains a StringRep object

StringRep holds the text and reference count

String passes actual string operations to StringRep object

String handles pointer operations and deleting StringRep object when reference count reaches zero

String a( “cat”);
String b( “dog”);
String c( “mouse”);

a = b;

a = c;

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 11
C++ Implementation from Coplien
class StringRep   {
   friend String;
      char *text;
      int refCount;
      StringRep()   { *(text = new char[1] = '\0'; }
      StringRep( const StringRep& s )   {
         ::strcpy( text = new char[::strlen(s.text) + 1, s.text);
      StringRep( const char *s)   {
         ::strcpy( text = new char[::strlen(s) + 1, s);
      StringRep( char** const *r)   {
         text = *r;
         *r = 0;
         refCount = 1;;
      ~StringRep()   { delete[] text; }
      int length() const   { return ::strlen( text ); }
      void print() const   { ::printf("%s\n", text ); }

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 12
class String   {
   friend StringRep
      String operator+(const String& add) const {
         return *imp + add;
      StringRep* operator->() const   { return imp; }
      String()   { (imp = new StringRep()) -> refCount = 1;   }
      String(const char* charStr)   {
         (imp = new StringRep(charStr)) -> refCount = 1;
      String operater=( const String& q)   {
         if (imp->refCount <= 0 &&
             imp != q.imp )
            delete imp;
         imp = q.imp;
         return *this;
      ~String()   {
         if (imp->refCount <= 0 ) delete imp;
      String(char** r)  {imp = new StringRep(r);}
      StringRep *imp;

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 13
Using Counter Pointer Classes

int main() {
   String a( “abcd”);
   String b( “efgh”);
   printf( “a is “);
   printf( “b is “);
   printf( “length of b is %d\n“, b-<length() );
   printf( “ a + b “);

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 14



Separate the construction of a complex object from its representation so that the same construction process can create different representations


Use the Builder pattern when

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 15

The client creates the Director object and configures it with the desired Builder object

Director notifies the builder whenever a part of the product should be built

Builder handles requests from the director and adds parts to the product

The client retrieves the product from the builder

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 16

Example – XML Parser

XML Parser

Abstract Builder Class
XML.SAXDriver (Smalltalk)
org.xml.sax.helpers.DefaultHandler (Java)
DefaultHandler (C++)

Concrete Builder Class
Your subclass of the abstract builder
Your code that uses the tree built

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 17
Java Example

   public static void main(String argv[])
      SAXDriverExample handler = new SAXDriverExample();
        // Use the default (non-validating) parser
      SAXParserFactory factory = SAXParserFactory.newInstance();
         SAXParser saxParser = factory.newSAXParser();
         saxParser.parse( new File("sample"), handler );
      catch (Throwable t) 
      System.out.println( handler.root());

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 18
Smalltalk Example

| builder exampleDispatcher |

builder := SAXDriverExample new.
exampleDispatcher := SAXDispatcher new contentHandler: builder.
   processDocumentInFilename: 'page' 
      [:parser | 
         validate: true].
builder root.

Doc 13, Bridge & Builder Slide # 19



Builder may have to pass parts back to director, who will then pass them back to builder

Copyright ©, All rights reserved.
2004 SDSU & Roger Whitney, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-7700 USA.
OpenContent license defines the copyright on this document.

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