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From: Mark Borgerding (mborgerding_at_[hidden])
Date: 2000-03-16 22:22:54

Gavin Collings wrote:

> > VC++ has some limitations on member template support.
> >
> > Argh! There is an email sitting in my "Boost Action Needed" folder
> > from Mark Borgerding with VC++ workarounds. I need to apply them.
> > That isn't the only fix pending; I will try to work through the
> > backlog in the next few days.
> Mark,
> It sounds like you're the VC++ member template expert :) I'd be
> interested to know if you've been able to characterize exactly when
> they do and when they don't work. My own experience is that there's a
> rough correlation with code complexity but little else. The worst
> problem I've come up against, though, is silently compiled valid code
> which does nothing at run time. Something for anyone putting in
> work-arounds to be wary of - successful re-compilation is definitely
> not a guarantee of a successful work-around.

Well, I don't claim to be an expert, but there are a few things that pop to
mind when dealing with MSVC's template "quirks".

1) member template functions work only when defined inside the class
definition -- compile error

2) template versions of assignment and copy construction functions must be
defined before the non-template versions. -- ( weird ) compile error

3) explicit template specialization is allowed, but not partial
specialization-- compile error

4) function templates that do not have an argument that tells the compiler
which specialization to use cannot be reliably called, -- RUNTIME error
        template <class T> T* makenew() {return new T();}
        template <> int * makenew<int>() {return new int(0);}
    If I were to explicitly call
        int * pI = makenew<int>();
    I believe the generic version would be called.
     This is really ugly because of it misbehaves so silently. I basically
avoid function templates that need to be specialized. I usually create
temporary template objects for the specializations I need. The
functionality is the same, it just tends to clutter up the code a bit. The
above example would become
        template <class T> struct makenew{ T* operator () () { return new
T();} };
        template <> struct makenew<int>{ int * operator() () {return new
int(0);} };
       int * pI = makenew<int>()();

5) I seem to recall some trouble using static data within static methods of
template classes. --RUNTIME error
I somehow got multiple definitions of the static data in different
libraries or different translation units (I can't remember which). This
was a bastard of a bug to find. I don't know if I could re-create it if I
tried. I think the problem was something like the following that appeared
in multiple translation units.
    template <class T>
    class singleton
        static T & instance() {
            static T t;
            return t;

To the best of my knowledge, all of these are true with 6.0. I haven't
tried some of them since earlier versions, and I don't have MSVC at home,
only work.

Has anyone found any other oddities dealing with MSVC and templates?

-- Mark

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