std::vector, default construction, C++11 and breaking changes


I think solution for use-case you described is not optimal and not complete, that's why you got problems upgrading to C++11.

C++ always cares about semantic and when you write program in c++ you'd better to understand your semantic. So in your case you wish to create N objects, but while you are not changing them you wish them to share same memory for optimization. Nice idea, but how to get this done: 1) copy constructor. 2) static implementation + copy constructor. Have you considered both solutions?

Consider you need M vectors of N objects, how many times shared memory will be allocated if you choose 1st scenario? It is M, but why do we need to allocate memory M times if we want to create vectors containing MxN objects?

So correct implementation here is to point to static memory by default, and allocate memory only if object is changed. In such a case allocating M vectors of N objects will give you... 1 'shared' memory allocation.

In your case you violated correct semantic abusing copy constructor, which is: 1) not obvious 2) not optimal and now you have to pay off.


I ran today against a quite subtle issue I'd like to have your opinion on.

Consider the following garden-variety shared-body-idiom class:

struct S
    S() : p_impl(new impl) {}
    struct impl;
    boost::shared_ptr<impl> p_impl;

The fun appears when you try to put those into vectors in the following way:

std::vector<S> v(42);

Now, with MSVC 8 at least, all the elements in v share the same impl member. Actually, what causes this is the vector constructor:

template <typename T, typename A = ...>
class vector
    vector(size_t n, const T& x = T(), const A& a = A());

Under the scenes, only one S object gets default constructed, the n elements of the vector are copied from it.

Now, with C++11, there are rvalue references. So it cannot work like this. If a vector is constructed as

std::vector<S> v(42);

then most likely, implementations will chose to default construct the n objects inside the vector, since copy construction may not be available. This would be a breaking change in this case.

My question is:

  1. Does the C++03 standard mandates that std::vector must have a constructor defined as above, ie. with a default argument ? In particular is there a guarantee that the entries of the vector object get copied instead of default constructed ?
  2. What does the C++11 standard say about this same point ?
  3. I see this as a possibility for a breaking change between C++03 and C+11. Has this issue been investigated ? Solved ?

PS: Please no comments about the default constructor of the class S above. It was this or implementing some form of lazy construction.

It is an invariant that a container never holds an uninitialized object. This means that anything which increases the size of the container must initialize all of the new elements somehow. This is a feature, not a defect—accessing uninitialized values is undefined behavior, and you couldn't reallocate (or insert) if some of the values were not initialized. E.g.:

std::vector<int> v;
v.resize( 20 );
v.insert( v.begin(), 1 );

The last line would result in undefined behavior if the resize hadn't initialized the elements it created.

The meaning of the auto keyword changed.

What differences, if any, between C++03 and C++11 can be detected at run-time?

Core Language

Accessing an enumerator using :::

template<int> struct int_ { };

template<typename T> bool isCpp0xImpl(int_<T::X>*) { return true; }
template<typename T> bool isCpp0xImpl(...) { return false; }

enum A { X };
bool isCpp0x() {
  return isCpp0xImpl<A>(0);

You can also abuse the new keywords

struct a { };
struct b { a a1, a2; };

struct c : a {
  static b constexpr (a());

bool isCpp0x() {
  return (sizeof c::a()) == sizeof(b);

Also, the fact that string literals do not anymore convert to char*

bool isCpp0xImpl(...) { return true; }
bool isCpp0xImpl(char*) { return false; }

bool isCpp0x() { return isCpp0xImpl(""); }

I don't know how likely you are to have this working on a real implementation though. One that exploits auto

struct x { x(int z = 0):z(z) { } int z; } y(1);

bool isCpp0x() {
  auto x(y);
  return (y.z == 1);

The following is based on the fact that operator int&& is a conversion function to int&& in C++0x, and a conversion to int followed by logical-and in C++03

struct Y { bool x1, x2; };

struct A {
  operator int();
  template<typename T> operator T();
  bool operator+();
} a;

Y operator+(bool, A);

bool isCpp0x() {
  return sizeof(&A::operator int&& +a) == sizeof(Y);

That test-case doesn't work for C++0x in GCC (looks like a bug) and doesn't work in C++03 mode for clang. A clang PR has been filed.

The modified treatment of injected class names of templates in C++11:

template<typename T>
bool g(long) { return false; }

template<template<typename> class>
bool g(int) { return true; }

template<typename T>
struct A {
  static bool doIt() {
    return g<A>(0);

bool isCpp0x() {
  return A<void>::doIt();

A couple of "detect whether this is C++03 or C++0x" can be used to demonstrate breaking changes. The following is a tweaked testcase, which initially was used to demonstrate such a change, but now is used to test for C++0x or C++03.

struct X { };
struct Y { X x1, x2; };

struct A { static X B(int); };
typedef A B;

struct C : A {
  using ::B::B; // (inheriting constructor in c++0x)
  static Y B(...);

bool isCpp0x() { return (sizeof C::B(0)) == sizeof(Y); }

Standard Library

Detecting the lack of operator void* in C++0x' std::basic_ios

struct E { E(std::ostream &) { } };

template<typename T>
bool isCpp0xImpl(E, T) { return true; }
bool isCpp0xImpl(void*, int) { return false; }

bool isCpp0x() {
  return isCpp0xImpl(std::cout, 0);

How about a check using the new rules for >> closing templates:

#include <iostream>

const unsigned reallyIsCpp0x=1;
const unsigned isNotCpp0x=0;

struct isCpp0xImpl2
    typedef unsigned isNotCpp0x;

struct isCpp0xImpl
    static unsigned const reallyIsCpp0x=0x8000;
    static unsigned const isNotCpp0x=0;

bool isCpp0x() {
    unsigned const dummy=0x8000;
    return isCpp0xImpl<isCpp0xImpl2<dummy>>::reallyIsCpp0x > ::isNotCpp0x>::isNotCpp0x;

int main()

Alternatively a quick check for std::move:

struct any
    template<typename T>
    any(T const&)

int move(any)
    return 42;

bool is_int(int const&)
    return true;

bool is_int(any)
    return false;

bool isCpp0x() {
    std::vector<int> v;
    return !is_int(move(v));