This is an unofficial snapshot of the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC22 WG21 Core Issues List revision 110c. See http://www.open-std.org/jtc1/sc22/wg21/ for the official list.

2023-02-07


1537. Optional compile-time evaluation of constant expressions

Section: 7.7  [expr.const]     Status: CD3     Submitter: John Spicer     Date: 2012-08-14

[Moved to DR at the April, 2013 meeting.]

According to the note in 7.7 [expr.const] paragraph 4,

[Note: Although in some contexts constant expressions must be evaluated during program translation, others may be evaluated during program execution. Since this International Standard imposes no restrictions on the accuracy of floating-point operations, it is unspecified whether the evaluation of a floating-point expression during translation yields the same result as the evaluation of the same expression (or the same operations on the same values) during program execution.

With the advent of narrowing rules, which require the compiler to evaluate constant expressions in more contexts than was the case in C++03 in order to determine whether an expression is well formed or not, this wording is not sufficiently clear in stating that even in cases where the computation must be done at compile time, the implementation is free to use the result of a runtime calculation rather than preserving the one computed at compile time.

Proposed resolution (October, 2012):

Change 7.7 [expr.const] paragraph 4 as follows:

[Note: Although in some contexts constant expressions must be evaluated during program translation, others may be evaluated during program execution. Since this International Standard imposes no restrictions on the accuracy of floating-point operations, it is unspecified whether the evaluation of a floating-point expression during translation yields the same result as the evaluation of the same expression (or the same operations on the same values) during program execution. [Footnote: Nonetheless, implementations are encouraged to provide consistent results, irrespective of whether the evaluation was actually performed during translation and/or during program execution. —end footnote] [Example:...