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Subject: [boost] [operators] moving forward use return by reference for compilers with proper support?
From: Andrew Ho (helloworld922_at_[hidden])
Date: 2013-04-30 19:57:32

Following some feedback I got from MS about the disparity between VS2012 and
GCC/Clang in how some the lifetimes of temporaries are handled, it appears
that going forward (possibly C++14) overloading operators in the same
fashion as Dfrey operators should be safe.

For reference, these overloads for a single argument commutative operator

T operator OP(const T&, const T&);
T&& operator OP( T&& lhs, const T& rhs);
T&& operator OP( const T& lhs, T&& rhs);
T&& operator OP( T&& lhs, T&& rhs);

They referred me to (draft of C++ standard),
which in section 12.2, clause 5 says that a temporary's lifetime is extended
to the lifetime of the reference it is bound to. I checked draft n3376
(latest publicly available draft as of today), and the same clause was

This is the current behavior in VS2012 and it's likely that future compilers
will support this as well. Should we start tracking which compilers do
exhibit this behavior in Boost.Config and use the return by rvalue ref code
if proper compiler support is available?

I know these are just working drafts and can change in the future, but I
can't think of a reason why they would remove this clause from the C++14
standard, or of any test cases which would cause a program to fail assuming
this clause is properly implemented.

We'll have to provide an implementation which supports return by value as
well for compilers which don't support this clause, and possibly a third
implementation for compilers which don't support move semantics at all,
though I have demonstrated that Boost.Move can be used to merge these latter

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