I've been trying to design an interface for a data class I'm writing. This class stores styles for characters, for example whether the character is bold, italic or underlined. But also the font-size and the font-family. So it has different types of member variables. The easiest way to implement this would be to add getters and setters for every member variable, but this just feels wrong to me. It feels way more logical (and more OOP) to call
style.format(BOLD, true) instead of
style.setBold(true). So to use logical methods insteads of getters/setters.
But I am facing two problems while implementing these methods: I would need a big switch statement with all member variables, since you can't access a variable by the contents of a string in C++. Moreover, you can't overload by return type, which means you can't write one getter like
style.getFormatting(BOLD) (I know there are some tricks to do this, but these don't allow for parameters, which I would obviously need).
However, if I would implement getters and setters, there are also issues. I would have to duplicate quite some code because styles can also have a parent styles, which means the getters have to look not only at the member variables of this style, but also at the variables of the parent styles.
Because I wasn't able to figure out how to do this, I decided to ask a question a couple of weeks ago. See Object Oriented Programming: getters/setters or logical names. But in that question I didn't stress it would be just a data object and that I'm not making a text rendering engine, which was the reason one of the people that answered suggested I ask another question while making that clear (because his solution, the decorator pattern, isn't suitable for my problem). So please note that I'm not creating my own text rendering engine, I just use these classes to store data.
Because I still haven't been able to find a solution to this problem I'd like to ask this question again: how would you design a styles class like this? And why would you do that? Thanks on forehand!