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Subject: Re: [boost] Outcome/expected/etc/etc/etc
From: Peter Dimov (lists_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-06-05 11:42:35

Niall Douglas wrote:

> Now, some may say that calling .exception() on an errored object is
> wasteful because you must silently construct an exception_ptr for a
> system_error. But equally, I'd counter that if you actually care about
> that, check .has_error() and yank out the error_code before calling
> .exception().

How I see things here is, you specify what error() and exception() return
after calls to set_value(v), set_error(e), and set_exception(x),
respectively, as if conceptually initialization stores the appropriate
return values into independent error_ and exception_ member variables.

Then, the synthesis of an exception_ptr from the error code in exception()
is just an optimization that doesn't change behavior but is just a different
tradeoff - it favors copy performance (no exception_ptr to copy after
set_error) at the expense of exception() performance (have to
make_exception_ptr each time.)

> After all:
> sizeof(error_code_extended) = 24
> sizeof(exception_ptr) = 8
> So for a type predominantly used solely for returning results from
> functions where you will only ever be returning one of them at a time,
> there is a very strong argument in favour of ditching the variant storage
> in exchange for considerable improvements in:
> - implementation complexity
> - compile times for end users
> - load on the compiler's optimiser
> ... for the hardcoded EC = error_code_extended and E = exception_ptr
> Outcome.

I see this as a promising direction because it would allow you to store both
an error and an exception, as per the other thread. Then you can fully
represent a Filesystem function with an outcome return value, because you'll
be able to store the error_code return in error() and the filesystem_error
exception in exception().

The actual behavior of Outcome won't change that much, because if you only
look at its observable state as told by the accessors, logically it's not a
variant, because both has_error and has_exception report true at the same
time. In fact has_error == has_exception if I'm not mistaken?

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