Repetition is modeled by the class
repeated, which is defined
using the template feature and thus can be easily reused for any class
of HL7 objects. The
repeated class is a derived class from the
class that is to repeat, enhancing the latter merely by a pointer to the
next object which is called
cdr, thus any repeated object is
organized as a linked list. This is a more homogeneous approach than
using arrays, since there is often no maximal repetition specified.
There are member functions which allow the input and output of repeated
object as well as an easy to use access to any member of the list, which
is syntactically the same as referencing a member of an array. This
could be achieved by overloading the array reference operator
The assignment operator is as well overloaded in order to make a copy of
the list rather than just assigning the reference.
Since the HL7 specifications demand a tolerance in respect to missing or unexpected objects, we do not care much about whether a segment is marked as required in the specifications. It is rather up to the application to reject incomplete messages, while unexpected objects tend to be just ignored.