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To Tuple or Not

Libraries for C++, C# and other langauge frequently provide tuple objects as an easy way to create n-pairings of items and objects, for example std::pair and System.Tuple.

Because they are "cheap to write" it is temping to use them instead of writing a separate class or struct. But, they come with side effects. The names of the members are not very descriptive. For example, in C++, you get first and second and in C# you get Item1 and Item2, etc.

So, when should use these tuple types and when should you write your struct/class? I give the following advice:

If the struct/class you would write would have member names like file1 and file2, then use a tuple type. This usually happens when the types of the objects are the same.

Else if the type is used only within a single function, then use a tuple type.

Otherwise, create your own class/struct.

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