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Template and default values of non-template pointers arguments

P: n/a
Hi,

what i'm trying to do is:

/////////////// Code Start

template <class TType, int* p = 0>
class Template
{
public:
Template<TType,p>() {};

};

/////////////// Code End

That works on Visual Studio 2005, but doesn't work on mingw 5.1.4 and
comeau.

They both says:

mingw:
could not convert template argument `0' to `int*

comeau:
argument of type "int" is incompatible with template parameter of type
"int *"
template <class TType, int* p = 0>
^

so the problem is quite clear, it seems there's no an acceptable
conversion from int to int*

But if i try to do something like that:

/////////////// Code Start

#define zero (int*)0

template <class TType, int* p = zero>
class Template
{
public:
Template<TType,p>() {};

};

/////////////// Code End
Now, that works on comeau, but still doesn't work with mingw.
My questions:
1] Why is that illegal?
2] How can solve this problem?
Many thanks,

--

Clyde
Oct 8 '08 #1
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2 Replies


P: n/a
Clyde wrote:
what i'm trying to do is:

/////////////// Code Start

template <class TType, int* p = 0>
class Template
{
public:
Template<TType,p>() {};

};

/////////////// Code End
No, that's not what you're trying to do. That's *how* you're trying to
do what you think you need. You should consider explaining *what* you
think you need the null pointer for. There can be no compile-time check
for a null pointer...
>
That works on Visual Studio 2005, but doesn't work on mingw 5.1.4 and
comeau.
It must be an extension offered by VC++.
>
They both says:

mingw:
could not convert template argument `0' to `int*

comeau:
argument of type "int" is incompatible with template parameter of type
"int *"
template <class TType, int* p = 0>
^

so the problem is quite clear, it seems there's no an acceptable
conversion from int to int*

But if i try to do something like that:

/////////////// Code Start

#define zero (int*)0

template <class TType, int* p = zero>
class Template
{
public:
Template<TType,p>() {};

};

/////////////// Code End
Now, that works on comeau, but still doesn't work with mingw.
My questions:
1] Why is that illegal?
Here we just say "because the Standard says so". 14.3.2/5 prohibits '0'
(the integer literal) to be used as the non-type template *argument* for
a template *parameter* of type 'pointer to T'. The conversions do not
apply.

If you need the real rationale, you'll have to to ask in 'comp.std.c++'
when it's operational.
2] How can solve this problem?
Solve? Not sure what you mean. The requirement is that the pointer
non-type template argument to be the address of a real object, with
external linkage. A null pointer does not satisfy that requirement.
Now, if you do have a problem (that you're trying to solve by writing
your template with the wrong default argument), you haven't stated it
yet, so we can't really tell you how to solve it. Please explain what
you're trying to accomplish.

V
--
Please remove capital 'A's when replying by e-mail
I do not respond to top-posted replies, please don't ask
Oct 8 '08 #2

P: n/a
On Oct 9, 1:00 am, Victor Bazarov <v.Abaza...@comAcast.netwrote:
Clyde wrote:
what i'm trying to do is:
/////////////// Code Start
template <class TType, int* p = 0>
class Template
{
public:
Template<TType,p>() {};
};
/////////////// Code End
No, that's not what you're trying to do. That's *how* you're
trying to do what you think you need. You should consider
explaining *what* you think you need the null pointer for.
There can be no compile-time check for a null pointer...
Surely you've heard of partial specialization. Or template
meta-programming (things like boost::enable_if). Or perhaps he
doesn't need a compile-time check; just somewhere in the code,
he has "if ( p != NULL ) ...". (Of course, since p is in fact a
constant in any particular instantiation, the compiler can
evaluate the if at compile time, and not generate the body if
the pointer is null. However...)
That works on Visual Studio 2005, but doesn't work on mingw
5.1.4 and comeau.
It must be an extension offered by VC++.
Note that there are really two separate issues here. First is
the fact that the standard does not apply the null pointer
constant conversion, so 0 can only be used to instantiate a
template argument of integral type. The second is that the
standard doesn't allow a null pointer, period, as the argument
to a non-type template parameter of pointer type---the argument
must be "the address of an object or function with external
linkage, including function templates and function
template-ids[...]". A null pointer is NOT the address of an
object, so it's not allowed.

The next release of the standard will allow null pointers,
although it won't allow the use of 0 for them; the argument
would have to be either (int*)0 or nullptr.
They both says:
mingw:
could not convert template argument `0' to `int*
comeau:
argument of type "int" is incompatible with template
parameter of type "int *"
template <class TType, int* p = 0>
so the problem is quite clear, it seems there's no an
acceptable conversion from int to int*
There is no implicit conversion from int to int*, ever. The
conversion in question here is the "null pointer constant"
conversion: a null pointer constant (an constant integral
expression evaluating to zero) will convert implicitly to a
pointer in some specific contexts. According to the standard,
this is not one of them.
But if i try to do something like that:
/////////////// Code Start
#define zero (int*)0
template <class TType, int* p = zero>
class Template
{
public:
Template<TType,p>() {};
};
/////////////// Code End
Now, that works on comeau, but still doesn't work with mingw.
It's illegal, at least according to C++03. It will be legal in
the next version of the standard.
My questions:
1] Why is that illegal?
Here we just say "because the Standard says so". 14.3.2/5
prohibits '0' (the integer literal) to be used as the non-type
template *argument* for a template *parameter* of type
'pointer to T'. The conversions do not apply.
If you need the real rationale, you'll have to to ask in
'comp.std.c++' when it's operational.
Historically, *no* implicit conversions were allowed for
non-type template arguments; IIRC, the first implementation of
templates I used wouldn't accept 0 for a long argument. (It had
to be 0L. And I'll admit that this was a long time ago, and my
memory isn't that sure.) Basically, templates were something
new, and without any experience, it wasn't too clear what the
implications of conversions might be. In the standard, integral
promotions and integral conversions are allowed (so 0 can be
used for an argument of type long), but the only conversions
allowed for a pointer argument are array to pointer (so you can
use the name of an array) and adding cv qualifications (so you
can pass the address of a non-const object to a pointer to
const). Not even derived to base is applied (implicitly).

The next version of the standard will loosen this requirement
somewhat, and allow conversions of std::nullptr_t to a pointer
type.
2] How can solve this problem?
Solve? Not sure what you mean. The requirement is that the
pointer non-type template argument to be the address of a real
object, with external linkage. A null pointer does not
satisfy that requirement.
Yes, but that requirement will be loosened. In the meantime...
the solution to every problem is an additional level of
indirection, as they used to say. He can definitely do
something like:

extern int *const null = 0 ;

template< typename TType, int *const& p = null >
...

Of course, every time he wants to instantiate the template,
he'll have to introduce an additional variable ,so the cure may
be worse than the disease. (Note too that the "extern" is
necessary in the above. By default, const objects have internal
linkage, and a template can only be instantiated over objects
with external linkage.) Alternatively, he just provides a dummy
int, and uses its address as the default; within the template,
he can check if the argument is equal to the dummy address.

--
James Kanze (GABI Software) email:ja*********@gmail.com
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Oct 9 '08 #3

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