ODR violation for std::cout etc.

Michael Veksler mveksler@tx.technion.ac.il
Tue Jul 10 16:43:00 GMT 2007


Currently libstdc++ violates ODR:
iostream:     extern ostream cout;
global_io.cc:  fake_ostream cout;

It assumes that gcc will work fine with this. Apparently it does, for now.
After solving a similar problem in my code using a similar technique - 
to find out that it does not work for MS VS-2005 - when I had to find a 
different fix.

The question is, why does GCC has to resolve to such construction-order 
issue this way?

Idea (which I used):
don't violate ODR in global_io.cc. Instead, construct and destroy 
std::cout two times, in a safe way:

static PreSecondCtor coutPreSecondCtor(std::cout);
ostream std::cout(NULL);
static PostSecondCtor coutPostSecondCtor(coutPreSecodCtor);

When PreSecondCtor saves all relevant data of cout (error bits, state, 
rdbuf, etc.),
and then calls std::cout.~ostream();
Note that before this point, std::cout has already been constructed by 
an std::ios::Init,
and we need to avoid double construction.

In PostSecondCtor, restore the state of cout out of the saved data in 

During destruction the order is reversed.

I still have a vague feeling that this solution is also undefined (since 
we are calling the constructor of std::cout, using placement new, after 
it had been automatically destroyed by the C++ environment). I don't 
have the standard near me, so I can't check.

Anyway, even if this is undefined, the situation is arguably better 
since it does not seem to break whole program compilation (like current 
implementation might).

What do you think?


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