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From: Mattias Flodin (flodin_at_[hidden])
Date: 2001-11-13 14:33:58

Good day.

Having caught interest in boost, I've been reading the boost mailing lists
for some time to get the general atmosphere of the discussions going on,
and try to get a view of what is currently being worked on. So far, this
has mostly concerned the thread and bind components.

Since I'm sure this is not the only work currently in progress, I don't
find it too ignorant of me to ask if there is some kind of list being
maintained of the elements that are currently pending for addition,
or what items that have already been brought up for discussions but deemed
uninteresting for boost.

The reason I ask is that I have, in a rather short time, been able to
write down a surprising number of things that could be of interest to the
library. Just as one might find certain designs strange at first sight
(but then realize why it is so after reading the design rationale), I find
it strange that some of these things seem to not yet have caught the
interest of boosters.

So, after having made this request for a "work in progress" /
"intentionally left out components" list, I hope you will forgive me if I
now bring up a question that has already been discussed (or is even
pending addition to the libraries):

How about a singleton class for boost? This is one of the most simple
design patters, and can rather easily be implemented using templates. Just
as the smart pointer, there may be a need for different variants, to
handle the lifetime of the singleton in different ways.

I propose, to begin with, a singleton with no inherent instantiation,
because it allows the most general handling of lifetime (the user
instantiates it himself - but is not allowed to make two instantiations).
There would be two functions: one to get a reference to the object, and
the other to obtain a pointer to the same object. The former would throw
an exception or fail an assertion if the singleton has not yet been
instantiated, whereas the latter would simply return a null pointer.

To give you a more in-depth view of what I'm looking for, some code that
I've been using follows; the implementation may of course need some work.
Also see
for some more discussion on the subject. If there is interest in this
component, I will try to research it a little more and write up a more
complete submission (with some initial documentation etc).

If you are not interested in the code you may stop reading here.

template <typename T>
class singleton {

        char* p=reinterpret_cast<char*>(this);
        p-=(int)(singleton*)(T*)(1) - 1;

    static T& get()
        return *instance_;

    static T* getptr()
        return instance_;

    static T* instance_;


Mattias Flodin <flodin_at_[hidden]>   "A good thing about C++ is that only
Room D418                           friends can access your private parts"
Department of Computing Science
Umeå University
S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
Note: Any opinions expressed in this mail are personal, and do not
necessarily reflect an official standpoint of Umeå University.

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