Type-safe Pimpl implementation without overhead

I like the pimpl idiom because I like to keep my headers as clean as possible, and other people’s headers are dirty. Unfortunately the pimpl idiom never feels like a good solution because it has runtime overhead that wouldn’t be needed if I didn’t care about clean headers so much.

If you’re not familiar with the Pimpl idiom, it stands for “pointer to implementation” and you use it in C/C++ headers to use a class without having to include the other header in your header. You can also use it to hide your implementation from your users so that you can change the internals of your class and nobody has to know. It’s used all over the place but it has one disadvantage: You always need an extra heap allocation and every method performs an extra pointer dereference.

This code fixes that, so that there can be zero runtime overhead. Here’s how to use it:

class btRigidBody;
class MyRigidBody
    // ...
    ForwardDeclaredStorage<btRigidBody, 768> bulletBody;

And the code is below:
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