Boost logo

Boost :

Subject: Re: [boost] Help! Detecting that two template aliases are equal.
From: Matt Calabrese (rivorus_at_[hidden])
Date: 2012-11-02 22:06:55

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 8:36 PM, Steven Watanabe <watanabesj_at_[hidden]>wrote:

> I haven't checked this, but it's the behavior that I would expect.

That seems surprising to me. It's a simple alias here, so I would expect it
to be exactly that -- an alias. If I make a typedef of a type, I expect it
to alias that type such that is_same tells me that are the same (which it,
of course, does). An alias should, whenever possible, be exactly that, an

> > Assuming that it is in fact
> > standard, can anyone conceive of a way around this limitation? I've
> > considered passing dummy arguments to the templates based on the template
> > parameter list and checking that the resultant types are equal, but I'd
> > like to avoid that if at all possible, since it seems like it would be
> > difficult or impossible to support certain templates properly (I.E.
> > consider the template parameter list of a template where one parameter
> type
> > is dependent on another, like std::integral_constant).
> You already have to specify this in
> the template argument list. I don't
> see how creating a dummy parameter makes it
> any worse.

Inside of the macro I know the textual form of the template parameter list,
broken down into its individual parts, but not the arguments that are valid
for that template. In other words, imagine a template such as this:

template< class T, typename T::type X > struct foo;

All I know is that parameter type 1 is "class" named "T" and that parameter
type 2 is "typename T::type" named "X". I can't possibly create a proper
dummy parameter automatically from within the macro since I can't deduce
that the dummy type I pass to "T" is required to have a nested type called
"type" that is a valid non-type template parameter type. If I get
archetypes working, I should be able to build proper defaults based on the
constraints of the types, but I'm not there yet and I don't think it should
be necessary for this particular problem.

> You have to define exactly what you mean by template
> aliases being equal. If you mean that for all template
> parameters, the aliases resolve to the same type, the
> problem is undecidable. (This follows directly from
> Rice's Theorem).

Sorry, I should have been more specific. I'm not dealing with the general
case of any arbitrary template alias, I'm dealing with the special case
where the template parameters of the underlying template are deducible from
the template parameters of the alias. In other words, cases similar to
where template argument deduction works in C++11 when dealing with a
template alias:

// A simple template
template< class T > struct foo {};

// An alias where the underlying template's
// parameters are deducible from the alias's
// template parameters.
template< class T >
using foo_alias = foo< T >;

// A function template taking a foo< T >, deduction works
template< class T >
void bar( foo< T > );

// The equivalent function written in terms of the alias
template< class T >
void bar_alias( foo_alias< T > );

int main()
  // All of these work in C++11, as expected
  bar( foo< int >() );
  bar( foo_alias< int >() );
  bar_alias( foo< int >() );
  bar_alias( foo_alias< int >() );

Again, this type of deduction works when the template parameters of the
underlying template are deducible from the template parameters of the
alias. Similar to this behavior, it seems to me that in the case where the
template parameter list of an alias is the same as its underlying template
(or even to that of another alias); where the underlying template's
arguments are deducible from the alias arguments; and where correspondence
of the parameters to those in the underlying template are equivalent, then
the alias could (IMO should) be a "true" alias (it is called an alias after
all). Note that N2914 at least somewhat refers to this type of equivalence,
though not in an elaborately-defined manner, when dealing with the
compatibility checking of implicitly generated concept maps.

-Matt Calabrese

Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at