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Section: 18.104.22.168 [unique.ptr.special] Status: Resolved Submitter: Daniel Krügler Opened: 2009-12-23 Last modified: 2016-02-10
Priority: Not Prioritized
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The comparison functions of unique_ptr currently directly delegate to the underlying comparison functions of unique_ptr<T, D>::pointer. This is disadvantageous, because this would not guarantee to induce a total ordering for native pointers and it is hard to define a total order for mixed types anyway.
The currently suggested resolution for shared_ptr comparison as of 1262 uses a normalization strategy: They perform the comparison on the composite pointer type (7.6.9 [expr.rel]). This is not exactly possible for unique_ptr in the presence of user-defined pointer-like types but the existing definition of std::duration comparison as of 27.5.6 [time.duration.comparisons] via common_type of both argument types demonstrates a solution of this problem. The approach can be seen as the general way to define a composite pointer type and this is the approach which is used for here suggested wording change.
For consistency reasons I would have preferred the same normalization strategy for == and !=, but Howard convinced me not to do so (now).
[ 2010-11-03 Daniel comments and adjustes the currently proposed wording changes: ]
Issue 1401 is remotely related. Bullet A of its proposed resolution provides an alternative solution for issue discussed here and addresses NB comment GB-99. Additionally I updated the below suggested wording in regard to the following: It is an unncessary requirement that the below defined effective composite pointer-like type CT satisfies the LessThanComparable requirements. All what is needed is, that the function object type less<CT> induces a strict weak ordering on the pointer values.
[2011-03-24 Madrid meeting]
Resolved by 1401
Change 22.214.171.124 [unique.ptr.special]/4-7 as indicated: [The implicit requirements and remarks imposed on the last three operators are the same as for the first one due to the normative "equivalent to" usage within a Requires element, see 126.96.36.199 [structure.specifications]/4. The effects of this change are that all real pointers wrapped in a unique_ptr will order like shared_ptr does.]
template <class T1, class D1, class T2, class D2> bool operator<(const unique_ptr<T1, D1>& x, const unique_ptr<T2, D2>& y);
x.get() < y.get().
template <class T1, class D1, class T2, class D2> bool operator<=(const unique_ptr<T1, D1>& x, const unique_ptr<T2, D2>& y);
Returns: x.get() <= y.get().template <class T1, class D1, class T2, class D2> bool operator>(const unique_ptr<T1, D1>& x, const unique_ptr<T2, D2>& y);
Returns: x.get() > y.get().template <class T1, class D1, class T2, class D2> bool operator>=(const unique_ptr<T1, D1>& x, const unique_ptr<T2, D2>& y);
Returns: x.get() >= y.get().