This is an unofficial snapshot of the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC22 WG21 Core Issues List revision 110b. See for the official list.


656. Direct binding to the result of a conversion operator

Section: 9.4.4  [dcl.init.ref]     Status: CD2     Submitter: Jason Merrill     Date: 23 October 2007

[Voted into WP at October, 2009 meeting.]

Consider the following example:

    struct A { };
    struct B : public A { };
    struct X {
       operator B();
    X x;

    int main() {
       const A& r = x;
       return 0;

It seems like the resolution of issue 391 doesn't actually cover this; X is not reference-compatible with A, so we go past the modified bullet (9.4.4 [dcl.init.ref] paragraph 5, bullet 2, sub-bullet 1), which reads:

If the initializer expression is an rvalue, with T2 a class type, and “cv1 T1” is reference-compatible with “cv2 T2,” the reference is bound to the object represented by the rvalue (see 7.2.1 [basic.lval]) or to a sub-object within that object.

and hit

Otherwise, a temporary of type “cv1 T1” is created and initialized from the initializer expression using the rules for a non-reference copy initialization (9.4 [dcl.init]). The reference is then bound to the temporary.

which seems to require that we create an A temporary copied from the return value of X::operator B() rather than bind directly to the A subobject. I think that the resolution of issue 391 should cover this situation as well, and the EDG compiler seems to agree with me.

(See also issue 896.)

Proposed resolution (September, 2009):

  1. Change 9.4.4 [dcl.init.ref] paragraph 5 as follows:

  2. Editorial note: issue 589 makes edits to the top-level bullet preceding this one. The wording resulting from those edits should be changed for consistency with this wording so that the text there reads, “ the first case and to the lvalue result of the conversion in the second case (or, in either case, to the appropriate base class subobject of the object).”

  3. Change 12.2 [over.match] paragraph 2, last bullet as follows:

  4. Change [over.match.ref] paragraph 1 as follows:

  5. Under the conditions specified in 9.4.4 [dcl.init.ref], a reference can be bound directly to an lvalue or class rvalue that is the result of applying a conversion function to an initializer expression. Overload resolution is used to select the conversion function to be invoked. Assuming that “cv1 T” is the underlying type of the reference being initialized, and “cv S” is the type of the initializer expression, with S a class type, the candidate functions are selected as follows:

(Note: this resolution also resolves issue 896.)