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Subject: Re: [boost] Variadic append for std::string
From: Christof Donat (cd_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-01-24 07:26:49


Am 24.01.2017 12:52, schrieb Richard Hodges:
> On 24 January 2017 at 12:17, Christof Donat <cd_at_[hidden]> wrote:
>> Am 24.01.2017 11:29, schrieb Richard Hodges:
>>> Imagine a function:
>>> void foo(std::string_view s);
>>> which we then call with:
>>> foo(join("the answer to life, the universe and everything is: ",
>>> hex(42)));
>> Did you mean
>> foo(concat(hex<int>, "the answer to life, the universe and everything
>> is:
>> ", 42));
> I probably meant:
> foo(to_string_view(concat("the answer to life, the universe and
> everything
> is: ", hex(42))));
> or
> foo(to_string_view(join(separator(' '), "the answer to life, the
> universe
> and everything is:", hex(42))));
> The idea being to avoid the construction of any un-necessary string
> objects. The generator already contains a buffer (or could) so it seems
> wasteful to me to create a string temporary simply to view its buffer.

The idea was, that not the generator holds a buffer, but the function,
that actually executes it, instantiates a std::string. When that is
returned, either the compiler elides that copy, or it will be moved out.
So in reality the waste is very minimal, if not non existent.

>>> The generator returned by join would stay alive until the end of the
>>> function foo, so there would be no need to construct a string, only
>>> to
>>> take
>>> a string_view of it. We could use the string_view implicit in the
>>> joiner
>>> object. This saves us an allocation and a copy.
>> I see. So the string would live inside the string factory as a member
>> object, when we implicitly convert to a string_view. With C++17
>> std::string
>> will have an implicit conversion operator to std::string_view. So this
>> will
>> be sufficient:
> A string, a string-like buffer, or a reference to a string. I feel that
> the
> generator should be able to work on a supplied string reference so that
> it
> can be used to extend an existing string without reallocations or
> copies if
> required.

Yes, that is possible, when the function, that executes the generator is
responsible for the buffer. Then you can have e.g.

concat(...).str(); // allocate a string and return it
concat(...).append_to(s); // append to an existing string;
concat(...).replace(s); // write over an existing string, reusing its

I think, we all agree here, that implicit conversion is not the way to
go. So my current proposal still is .str(), and the like. You propose
free functions instead.

>> Yes, but I don't get why you want wide string versions for
>> UTF-8-support.
>> I sit about converting wide string to utf8? Like this:
>> std::string{concat(my_wide_string)};
> Maybe to_utf8(concat(...)); would be better.

Uh, coming back to the formatting tags and my currently preferred

concat(utf_8, ...).str();

If you need additional options for utf_8, it can be a function call:

concat(utf_8(more, options), ...).str();

> It's again explicit and could
> be given options to control behaviour. It also decouples the concept of
> UTF8 from the concept of concatenation. This adheres more to the c++
> way of
> only paying for what you need.

The functions, that execute the string factories should, in my opinion,
only care, if they have enough memory, and let the factories care about
the content. Therefore I think, that the question of character encoding
should be dealt with in the factories.

I don't see, how the question of character encoding can be decoupled
from the concept of converting arbitrary objects to strings. The
converter has to have a way to encode its result.


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