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Subject: [boost] Range-aware version of min and max
From: Zachary Turner (divisortheory_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-01-25 09:54:48

I am often frustrated by the inability of std::min and std::max to deal with
data types of different ranges. For example:

boost::uint64_t big = 9876543210ULL;
boost::uint32_t small = 12345;

boost::uint32_t smallest = std::min(big, small);

will generate a compiler warning about possible loss of data due to
converting from boost::uint64_t to boost::uint32_t. Obviously such a
scenario is impossible since by definition the result can be no larger than
the maximum value of a uint32.

Previously there was a discussion on the list about adding operators such as
is_addable, is_multipliable, is_less_comparable, etc. Using such a class,
one could re-write min and max as follows (I'm sure someone will come up
with a problem with this, or a better implementation, but anyway the idea
should be clear):

namespace boost {

template<class A, class B>
struct min_result
   typedef mpl::if_c<(integer_traits<A>::const_max <
integer_traits<B>::const_max), A, B>::type type;

template<class A, class B>
struct max_result
   typedef mpl::if_c<(integer_traits<A>::const_min >
integer_traits<B>::const_min), A, B>::type type;

template<class A, class B>
min(const A& a, const B& b)
   return static_cast<min_result<A,B>::type>((a < b) ? a : b);

template<class A, class B>
max(const A& a, const B& b)
   return static_cast<max_result<A,B>::type>((a > b) ? a : b);

I'm sure there's some implementation details I haven't considered, but is
there any fundamental reason why an approach like this would be flawed or


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