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Re: [PATCH] Add constexpr to iterator adaptors, array and range access


On Sat, 2016-07-16 at 00:09 +0100, Jonathan Wakely wrote:
> This patch implements http://wg21.link/p0031 which adds constexpr to
> most operations on std::reverse_iterator, std::move_iterator,
> std::array, as well as std::advance, std::distance, and the
> range-access functions std::begin, std::rbegin etc.
> 
> Strictly speaking, those functions should only be constexpr in C++17
> and not before, but this patch makes them constexpr whenever
> possible.
> That means the changes are fully implemented for C++14 (and the
> feature-test macro is defined) but only partially implemented for
> C++11, because some of the functions can't be constexpr in C++11.
> 
> My thinking is that if the committee has decided that these functions
> *should* be constexpr, and changed them for C++17, then it doesn't
> serve users to make them non-constexpr in C++11 and C++14 just
> because
> the standard says so.
> 
> How do other people feel about that?
> 
The alternative would be to define a new _GLIBCXX17_CONSTEXPR macro
> and use it in all these places, so they're only constexpr in C++17
> (and probably for -std=gnu++14 too, but not -std=c++14).
> 
> How strict do we want to be about obeying the "implementors can't add
> constexpr" rule in these cases?

Other std libs are even more ignorant regarding this and do stuff like
defining several C++11 features and functionalities even if C++11 is
not enabled, which can be annoying at times.

One thing that could happen with those extra constexpr, is having
people accidentally writing non-C++11/14-compliant code on a newer
C++17 toolchain, although they actually wanted to write C++11/14
compliant code.

GCC itself, with its conservative toolchain requirements, is probably a
good example.  If GCC's compiler requirement is bumped from C++98/03 to
C++11 some day, most GCC developers are probably going to use a pretty
recent GCC version for GCC development.  As a consequence, silent non
-compliant constexpr related constructs might slip in over and over
again simply because people don't notice.  So everyone would need to
keep some older C++11-only toolchain version just for testing the
build.  I can imagine this to be a source of frustration.  If users
want to write C++11 or C++14 code, the toolchain should assist them in
doing so as much as possible.

I'd vote for the _GLIBCXX17_CONSTEXPR macro.

Cheers,
Oleg


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