Class Reference Types

A class-reference type, sometimes called a metaclass, is denoted by a construction of the form class of type where type is any class type. The identifier type itself denotes a value whose type is class of type. If type1 is an ancestor of type2, then class of type2 is assignment-compatible with class of typel. Thus type TClass = class of TObject; var AnyObj: TClass;

declares a variable called AnyObj that can hold a reference to any class. (The definition of a class-reference type cannot occur directly in a variable declaration or parameter list.) You can assign the value nil to a variable of any class-reference type.

To see how class-reference types are used, look at the declaration of the constructor for TCollection (in the Classes unit):

type TCollectionItemClass = class of TCollectionItem; constructor Create(ItemClass: TCollectionItemClass);

This declaration says that to create a TCollection instance object, you must pass to the constructor the name of a class descending from TCollectionItem.

Class-reference types are useful when you want to invoke a class method or virtual constructor on a class or object whose actual type is unknown at compile time.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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