C++ FAQ Celebrating Twenty-One Years of the C++ FAQ!!!
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Section 7:
[7.5] How does C++ help with the tradeoff of safety vs. usability?

In C, encapsulation was accomplished by making things static in a compilation unit or module. This prevented another module from accessing the static stuff. (By the way, static data at file-scope is now deprecated in C++: don't do that.)

Unfortunately this approach doesn't support multiple instances of the data, since there is no direct support for making multiple instances of a module's static data. If multiple instances were needed in C, programmers typically used a struct. But unfortunately C structs don't support encapsulation. This exacerbates the tradeoff between safety (information hiding) and usability (multiple instances).

In C++, you can have both multiple instances and encapsulation via a class. The public part of a class contains the class's interface, which normally consists of the class's public member functions and its friend functions. The private and/or protected parts of a class contain the class's implementation, which is typically where the data lives.

The end result is like an "encapsulated struct." This reduces the tradeoff between safety (information hiding) and usability (multiple instances).