Finding what an untyped pointer points to

I am writing a series of 'classic' datastructures (LinkedList, Stack, Queue etc.) for delphi that I intend to post to DSP for all to use.

I am fisrtly attempting the linked list by inheriting TList and overiding the delete, Clear, and Destroy methods to free any list items that are taken from the list. I am overriding remove as a function which returns a pointer to the removed item.

It seemed a very simple task and it works fine so long as you only use the list to store decendants of TObject. (so that the .free can be used)

A also want to be able to store the basic types such as integer, boolean etc. In these cases there is no free method and typcasting the pointer to Tobject gives an access violation.

What I am trying to do is to find out if the pointer can be cast as a tobject then free it otherwise don't

I have tried casting the pointer as a variant and then getting the varType but it is giving inconsistent results.

Is this possible? I suspect that this may be why Tlist doesn't free up it's resources.

I have delphi 2.01


essbbAsked:
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peter_vcCommented:
Just to let you know I downloaded a library exactly like this from the DSP a couple of days ago.  It comes with source, so you may want to have a look at it.


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jturpinCommented:
What is DSP ?
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peter_vcCommented:
The DSP is short for The Delphi Super Page.  It is a web site (out of Poland I believe) dedicated to Delphi 1,2,3 and C++ Builder.  Check there first when looking for anything to do with Delphi.

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icampbe1Commented:
I'm assuming that you still want an answer to your question for knowledge reasons.  

Although you can cast the TList's pointer to a Longint (or any 32-bit type), you wont be able to tell it from an object pointer.  I would therefore recommend that you create a series of mini-objects to contain simple ordinal like values.  Then you can treat the management of the list in a consistent manner.

For example:

TInteger = CLASS( TObject )
PRIVATE
  FValue: Integer;
PUBLIC
  PROPERTY  IntValue: Integer  Read FValue Write FValue;
END;

This object, and others like it for boolean, double, real... can be added to the list.  You don't even need to write a constructor/destructor because they don't do any special processing on create.  Using these mini-objects lets you do stuff like:  IF (Something IS TInteger) THEN...

You might explire the possibility of on object type with several properties as well.

Cheers,
Ian C.
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mirek071497Commented:
do you try TVarRec type ? i think so no. Try this now.
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mirek071497Commented:
Sorry. You need VarData not VarRec but this can help you.
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essbbAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the answer,
Thats pretty much what I thought
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