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In OOP, it seems that if an object cross-references another object in its property, ultimately, if such objects are used a lot, the software at the end will be slow because of this.

Is this true? If yes, can we intentionally not do this by getting things done?

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What language? In JavaScript it could get costly depending on circumstances or core object used. I wouldn't expect a significant cost in pre-compiled languages but if most objects are tangled webs of calls to other objects, that may be a symptom of an architectural problem. – Erik Reppen May 23 '12 at 4:08
What the heck makes you suspect this? – delnan May 23 '12 at 12:28
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'm not entirely sure I understand the question, but if an object contains another object by reference, then the cost of this is a pointer dereference every time you use the contained object. That's a trivial cost.

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The performance difference is minor compared to having cleaner and more maintainable code. Take a look at the provided API's for your language and see how common it is for objects to be nested. Classes that only deal with primitives are probably in the minority.

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