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Subject: Re: [boost] A more convenient Variant visitation syntax
From: Mathias Gaunard (mathias.gaunard_at_[hidden])
Date: 2012-04-14 11:41:38

On 14/04/12 17:00, Kevin Wu Won wrote:
> While Boost Variant is a wonderful library that fills a genuine hole
> in the C++ language, it is not as nice to use as it could be. The
> "correct" way to unwrap a variant is to apply a static visitor, but
> this method carries a high syntactic burden because it needs the user
> to define a class (probably somewhere far away) just so they can
> "switch" on the type of the object stored in the variant.
> I came up with a solution where the handler functions can be specified
> inline with C++11 lambdas. Here's an example:
> boost::variant< int, std::string> u("hello world");
> int result = match(u,
> [](int i) -> int { return i; },
> [](const std::string& str) -> int { return str.length(); });
> The `match` function accepts the variant followed by the handler
> functions. The functions can be specified in any order. It will fail
> to compile if the functions do not match the types of the variant, if
> the return types are not all the same, or if a non-unary function is
> supplied.
> This is C++11 only because it's quite pointless without lambda
> functions. I've tested it with gcc 4.7. It doesn't work on gcc 4.6,
> which can't handle the variadic templates.

It can be done in C++03 and expression-template-based lambdas just fine
as well.

All you need to do is generate a function object that inherits
recursively from a set of other function objects.

The function objects in question need to be either monomorphic or to be
sufficiently constrained with SFINAE so that each operator() overload is
not ambiguous.

Unfortunately, Boost.Phoenix was never extended to support this.

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