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Subject: Re: [boost] [review] string convert
From: Stewart, Robert (Robert.Stewart_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-05-04 10:33:53

Barend Gehrels wrote:

[reformatted for readability, especially due to line wrapping]

> int i = convert_cast<int>(s);
> // optional indicated in template parameter as return
> // type - as always
> optional<int> i = convert_cast<optional<int> >(s);
> int i = convert_cast<int>(s, 17);
> // template parameter as optional one there
> int i = convert_cast
> <
> int
> , throw_even_though_i_specified_a_failback_
> >(s, 17);
> optional<int> i ... (similar as other one with optional)

I presume you mean the following, but why?

optional<int> i = convert_cast
      , throw_even_though_i_specified_a_failback_
>(s, 17);

> // pair indicated in template parameter
> pair<bool, int> i = convert_cast<pair<bool, int> >(s, 17);

convert_cast<int>(s) and convert_cast<int>(s, 17) are fine.

convert_cast<optional<int>>(s) is too verbose. As has been noted, a "try" variant would be much nicer: try_convert_cast<int>(s) would return an optional<int>. Not only does that play nicely in C++03, but it's even nicer with auto. I realize this loses the nice symmetry you were trying to achieve by using a single name for everything.

convert_cast<int, throw_>(s, 17) works pretty well (maybe "throw_on_failure").

The only other one I haven't commented on is the pair<bool,int> version. It shouldn't require a second argument. All of the variations that take a single argument should have a version that takes a second in case there's no default construction or zero-initialization possible. That aside, the pair version leads to much less readable code, not least because the semantics of pair<int,bool> are less obvious than those of optional<int>. Compare this:

auto r(convert_cast<optional<int>>(s));
if (r)
   i = r.get();

versus this:

auto r(convert_cast<pair<int,bool>>(s));
if (r.second)
   i = r.first;

Even better:

auto r(try_convert_cast<int>(s));
if (r)
   i = r.get();

Notice also that the precedent, std::map::insert()'s return type, puts bool second, not first. I never remember the order and you used the reverse. That leaves too much room for confusion. The optional version is much better.

Rob Stewart robert.stewart_at_[hidden]
Software Engineer using std::disclaimer;
Dev Tools & Components
Susquehanna International Group, LLP

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