#pragma once vs.
After getting in an extended discussion about the supposed performance tradeoff between
#pragma once and
#ifndef guards vs. the argument of correctness or not (I was taking the side of
#pragma once based on some relatively recent indoctrination to that end), I decided to finally test the theory that
#pragma once is faster because the compiler doesn’t have to try to re-
#include a file that had already been included.
For the test, I automatically generated 500 header files with complex interdependencies, and had a
.c file that
#includes them all. I ran the test three ways, once with just
#ifndef, once with just
#pragma once, and once with both. I performed the test on a fairly modern system (a 2014 MacBook Pro running OSX, using XCode’s bundled Clang, with the internal SSD).