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From: Giovanni Bajo (giovannibajo_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-05-19 04:19:17

Guillaume Melquiond <gmelquio_at_[hidden]> wrote:

>>> [patch]
>>> void* operator new(std::size_t, stateless_integer_add*)
>>> {
>>> throw std::runtime_error("Cannot allocate a stateless_integer_add");
>>>- return 0; // suppress warnings
>>>+ return (void*)1; // suppress warnings
>>> }
>>> According to the paragraph of the Standard, an 'operator new'
>>> can return a null pointer or throw an exception to report a failed
>>> allocation; but it isn't allowed to adopt the two behaviors.
>> Really? I don't see this specified in that very paragraph. To me, it
>> like it's saying that:
>> - an allocation function which is declared as throw() must return a null
>> pointer in case of failure.
>> - an allocation function which is not declared as throw() can call
>> new_handler, or, alternatively, throw a std::bad_alloc (or exception
>> derived from it).
> My interpretation of the standard was: an allocation function that returns
> a null pointer must have an empty exception clause and so is not allowed
> to throw any kind of exception.

You are reading it backward. It says that an allocation function declared as
throw() must return a null pointer. It does not say "*only* allocation
functions declared as throw()", nor it says "any other allocation function
must not return 0". In other words this is only an "if" clause, not a "if
and only if".

>> Since this allocation function is not declared throw(), it should throw a
>> std::bad_alloc(), not a runtime_error(). The return value does not make
>> sense here because of the throw: that statement is never reached. If

> What kind of argument is that? :-)

Probably I wasn't clear. What I'm saying is that it would be silly for the
standard to set rules for the return value of a function in a condition in
which it is supposed to throw an exception. If it said "please, make it
throw, and then return anything but zero", one would wonder why there should
be a rule about the return value when the function is not supposed to return
(at least in that code path).

> Yes the code is unreachable; but it's not enough of a reason to write bad
> code each time it's unreachable.

But do you really think that there can be a rule set by the standard for a
situation which will never happen?
And there is more: if I run the code with Comeau, I get a warning saying
that "return 0" is unreachable. So I could submit a patch to remove it
because it breaks my -Werror compilation on Comeau. It does not make sense
for the standard to prescribe such a return value, and a return statement
just to shut down an incorrect warning like this one should be activated
only for compilers suffering from this behaviour.

> The return statement is already here to suppress warnings with some
> compilers. But it also adds a warning with GCC. It's the reason why I
> suggested a patch that does a minimal change of the code: the return
> statement is not suppressed, but the return value is changed.

Yes I understand your patch, but I strongly believe that it is GCC in fault
here, not the code. If there is a fault in the code at all, it is that it's
throwing a runtime_error instead of a bad_alloc as the standard prescribes.

>> are warnings about the return value, compilers could be improved to at
>> least shut them off in such situation, or can be simply turned off in any
>> way (return 0 is ok).
>> What is the warning you get with GCC?
> GCC complains that the allocator returns a null pointer and so should have
> an empty throw() clause.

I see the warning now. I'm forwarding this message to Gabriel Dos Reis,
which is also the GCC diagnostic mantainer. Maybe he can shed some lights on
this issue.

Giovanni Bajo

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