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


1637. Recursion in constexpr template default constructor

Section: 9.2.6  [dcl.constexpr]     Status: NAD     Submitter: Daveed Vandevoorde     Date: 2013-03-11

Consider the following example:

  struct A {
    template <class T> constexpr void* f(T) { return nullptr; }
    A* ap = (A*)f(A());
    template <class ...T> constexpr A() {}

A default constructor template instance would recurse infinitely via the member initializer for A::ap. However, since it's a template, by 9.2.6 [dcl.constexpr] paragraph 6, that would just mean that the instance shouldn't be treated as constexpr.

Is an implementation really expected to handle that? In effect, we have to try to evaluate the expression and if that fails, nullify the constexpr-ness of the A::A<>() instance, and re-examine the initializer with the new understanding of that instance?

Rationale (April, 2013):

In the cited example, the constructor is constexpr; it simply cannot be used in a constant expression. The error would be detected at the time of such a use.