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From: Andrzej Krzemienski (akrzemi1_at_[hidden])
Date: 2019-12-02 08:42:56

wt., 26 lis 2019 o 18:34 Vinnie Falco via Boost <boost_at_[hidden]>

> On Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 8:31 AM Phil Endecott via Boost
> <boost_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> > I would much prefer static_string
> Same here... I was foolish to rename it.
> > - Much more of it should be constexpr.
> I agree that it could be constexpr (at least some of it) but this can
> be added as an improvement later.
> Taking the opposite position, why should it be constexpr? The purpose
> of this container is to serve as a performant substitute for
> std::string when the maximum size is known ahead of time or can be
> reasonably estimated. In which use-cases do you anticipate the need
> for a constexpr static_string? It would certainly waste space, unless
> the caller sizes it perfectly. But then what's the difference between
> that and a constexpr string literal or string view?
> In my opinion people are too quick to say "constexpr it" without
> evaluating the necessity. I'm not saying we shouldn't do it (but see
> below), however lets not pretend that there are legions of users eager
> for a constexpr fixed capacity mutable string.
> > There is also a question of whether all of the
> > elements must be initialised (to 0) by the ctor to be constexpr,
> > which could be costly for a large but sparse container, though
> I think initializing everything to 0 is a non-starter for the
> non-constexpr case, due to the performance penalty. And initializing
> to 0 only for constexpr requires new language features I believe?
> std::is_constexpr_evaluated or some such.
> > it does mean that subsequent push_back()s don't need to store
> > terminators;
> It would still need to null-terminate, for the case where characters
> are removed from the string and subsequently reinserted.
> > - You can add a specialisation for size 0 that turns it into an
> > empty struct.
> >
> > - You can add a string literal operator"".
> >
> > - You can add std::hash overloads.
> I'm not seeing the value in these features. What's the use case? No
> one will be using static_string as the key for a container, since it
> wastes space. Why do we need a string literal operator, to produce a
> string constant that takes up more space than necessary? And why are
> we "optimizing" the case where size==0? Is this something that anyone
> will notice or care about (aside from WG21 of course, which often
> concerns itself with not-relevant things).
> > There are various possibilities for what should happen if the
> > capacity is exceeded, including throwing an exception, asserting,
> > and allowing undefined behaviour. I'm not sure what I would
> > really prefer though I think I'd be more likely to assert() than
> > to throw. See P0843r2 again which discusses this.
> Quoting some nonsense from p0843r2:
> 1. Throw an exception.
> 2. Make this a precondition violation.
> ...
> It could throw either std::out_of_bounds or std::logic_error but in any
> case the interface does not end up being equal to that of std::vector.
> ...
> The alternative is to make not exceeding the capacity a precondition on
> the static_vector's methods.
> So basically Gonzalo (the paper's author) says that throwing an
> exception of the wrong type makes the interface different from
> std::vector, thus the solution is to make the interface even more
> different from vector by requiring callers to check sizes. Gonzalo
> lists existing practice of Boost.Container's static_vector, with
> throws on overflow, as existing practice. Only in the bizarro world of
> WG21 could someone write a paper which quotes existing practice, then
> proceed to deviate from existing practice for illogical reasons.
> We can return to sanity by recognizing what the purpose of static_string
> is for:
> "...a performant substitute for std::string when the maximum size is
> known
> ahead of time or can be reasonably estimated."
> Throwing an exception is the obvious rational choice. It lets
> static_string be mostly a drop-in replacement, without requiring call
> sites to add extensive code to check for preconditions. It guarantees
> that any successful modifications to the static_string will be exact
> (no truncation). And most importantly it matches existing practice
> (e.g. boost::container::static_vector and others like it).

Actually, boost::container::static_vector defines the container beyond its
capacity as a precondition:

And this does not require of a user any extensive "checking" of
preconditions. Te user simply knows her program's flow, and already knows
the preconditions are not exceeded. For instance, the logic of the
application dictates that strings are never resized, or for every name
initially created only zero or one push_back()s are performed with a single


> > Regarding your deviations from std::string:
> > operator+ has been omitted because you consider it's not possible
> > to determine a reasonable return type; isn't it just size N+M ?
> > Do you reject that just because it could end up rather large after
> > a sequence of additions? I'd agree if it were N*M but not really for
> > N+M. Have I missed something?
> Yes. It is too easy for someone to change existing code that does
> a+b+c+d where the operands are strings. Users could the get surprising
> behavior of tens or hundreds of kilobytes of stack consumption. There
> are other ways to implement operator+ but we prefer to the omit
> interfaces that can have surprising behavior, or that have non-obvious
> results (such as truncating).
> > You've chosen to return a string_view from substr(). I think that's
> > a bit dangerous; code that does "auto a = s.substr(...)" could end
> > up with a dangling view when s is a fixed string; this makes it
> > more difficult than it should be to migrate from one string type
> > to another, or to write generic code.
> Again we have to refer to the purpose of the container. People are
> using this for performance, the very last thing they want from
> substr() is to receive a copy. Users can opt-in to making a copy if
> they want, by constructing a new static_string from the string view
> returned by substr. If we go with your suggestion, no one can opt out
> of copies.
> > My initial thought was that static_string should be implemented
> > on top of boost::container::static_vector<char>. My rationale...
> No normal user is going at static_string and think "I would use this
> if it required Boost.Container." Fewer dependencies is better. And,
> this library is designed to work without the rest of Boost (the
> "standalone" mode). I want people to be able to do "vcpkg install
> static_string" and then be ready to boogie. They will still have to
> type `boost::` to access it.
> Regards
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