This is an unofficial snapshot of the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC22 WG21 Core Issues List revision 112e. See for the official list.


1202. Calling virtual functions during destruction

Section: 11.9.5  [class.cdtor]     Status: C++11     Submitter: Bjarne Stroustrup     Date: 2010-09-21

[Voted into the WP at the March, 2011 meeting as part of paper N3262.]

According to 11.9.5 [class.cdtor] paragraph 4,

Member functions, including virtual functions (11.7.3 [class.virtual]), can be called during construction or destruction (11.9.3 [class.base.init]). When a virtual function is called directly or indirectly from a constructor (including the mem-initializer or brace-or-equal-initializer for a non-static data member) or from a destructor, and the object to which the call applies is the object under construction or destruction, the function called is the one defined in the constructor or destructor's own class or in one of its bases, but not a function overriding it in a class derived from the constructor or destructor's class, or overriding it in one of the other base classes of the most derived object (6.7.2 [intro.object]).

This is clear regarding virtual functions called during the initialization of a class's members, but it does not specifically address the polymorphic behavior of the class during the destruction of the members. Presumably the behavior during destruction should be the exact inverse of that of the constructor, i.e., the class's virtual functions should still be called during member destruction.

In addition, the wording

If the virtual function call uses an explicit class member access ( [expr.ref]) and the object-expression refers to the object under construction or destruction but its type is neither the constructor or destructor's own class or one of its bases, the result of the call is undefined.

should be clarified that “refers to the object under construction” does not include referring to member subobjects but only to base or more-derived classes of the class under construction or destruction.