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Subject: Re: [boost] Heads up - string_ref landing
From: Yanchenko Maxim (maximyanchenko_at_[hidden])
Date: 2012-11-16 12:18:23

16.11.2012, 19:30, "Marshall Clow" <mclow.lists_at_[hidden]>:

> And for most cases, the code internal to "f" and "g" won't care that they got a string_ref instead of a šconst std::string.

In many, not most, and definitely not all.
Here is an example I gave to Olaf:

    std::vector<char_range> v;
    v.push_back( "foo" ); // OK - lifetime of string literal is infinite
    v.push_back( std::string("bar") ); // BOOM
      std::string s = "foobar";
      v.push_back(s); // BOOM

When it comes to ownership, explicit is better than implicit.

Every time you want to store a char_range for future use, you want to be 100% sure that everything it's pointing at will live longer than char_range.
How can you enforce it if everything is implicit? Forget about help from compiler, you won't even see the places of such ownership leaks!
Making char_range ctor explicit makes a programmer to think twice: "OK, here I'm converting this string to a char_range - is it supposed to live longer than my string? Will my string live long enough and *unchanged* (no resize/reallocation)?"

char_range is an optimization tool, and when used with std::string it causes its abstraction to leak as it utilizes the hidden knowledge that the source std::string
1) will live longer than char_range
2) won't resize/realloc its internal buffer as the char_range points directly into it

It's essentially a naked pointer into volatile memory and should be used with the same level of (pre)caution (and better not used at all until you need to optimize speed - otherwise just good old *safe* copies of std::string should be used by default).


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