2342. User conversion to wchar_t const* or to wchar_t not invoked for operator<<

Section: 30.7.5.1 [ostream] Status: New Submitter: Alf P. Steinbach Opened: 2013-10-29 Last modified: 2016-02-10

Priority: 4

View all other issues in [ostream].

View all issues with New status.

Discussion:

For wide streams argument types wchar_t const* and wchar_t are supported only as template parameters. User defined conversions are not considered for template parameter matching. Hence inappropriate overloads of operator<< are selected when an implicit conversion is required for the argument, which is inconsistent with the behavior for char const* and char, is unexpected, and is a useless result.

Demonstration:

#include <iostream>

struct Byte_string
{ 
  operator char const*() const { return "Hurray, it works!"; } 
};

struct Wide_string
{ 
  operator wchar_t const*() const { return L"Hurray, it works!"; } 
};

struct Byte_ch
{ 
  operator char() const { return 'X'; } 
};

struct Wide_ch
{ 
  operator wchar_t() const { return L'X'; } 
};

auto main() -> int
{
  using namespace std;
  wcout << "'X' as char value   : " << Byte_ch() << endl;
  wcout << "'X' as wchar_t value: " << Wide_ch() << endl;
  wcout << "Byte string pointer : " << Byte_string() << endl;
  wcout << "Wide string pointer : " << Wide_string() << endl;
}

Example output:

'X' as char value   : X
'X' as wchar_t value: 88
Byte string pointer : Hurray, it works!
Wide string pointer : 000803C8

Proposed resolution:

This wording is relative to N3797.

  1. Modify 30.7.5.1 [ostream], class template basic_ostream synopsis, as indicated:

    namespace std {
    […]
    
    // 27.7.3.6.4 character inserters
    template<class charT, class traits>
      basic_ostream<charT,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<charT,traits>&,
                                              charT);
    template<class charT, class traits>
      basic_ostream<charT,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<charT,traits>&,
                                              char);
    template<class traits>
      basic_ostream<char,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<char,traits>&,
                                             char);
    template<class traits>
      basic_ostream<wchar_t,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<wchar_t,traits>&,
                                                wchar_t);
    […]
    
    template<class charT, class traits>
      basic_ostream<charT,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<charT,traits>&,
                                              const charT*);
    template<class charT, class traits>
      basic_ostream<charT,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<charT,traits>&,
                                              const char*);
    template<class traits>
      basic_ostream<char,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<char,traits>&,
                                             const char*);
    template<class traits>
      basic_ostream<wchar_t,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<wchar_t,traits>&,
                                                const wchar_t*);
    […]
    }
    
    
  2. Modify 30.7.5.2.4 [ostream.inserters.character] as indicated: [Drafting note: The replacement of os by out in p1 and the insertion of "out." in p4 just fix two obvious typos — end drafting note]

    template<class charT, class traits>
      basic_ostream<charT,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<charT,traits>& out,
                                              charT c);
    template<class charT, class traits>
      basic_ostream<charT,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<charT,traits>& out,
                                              char c);
    // specialization
    template<class traits>
      basic_ostream<char,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<char,traits>& out,
                                             char c);
    template<class traits>
      basic_ostream<wchar_t,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<wchar_t,traits>& out,
                                                wchar_t c);
    
    // signed and unsigned
    template<class traits>
      basic_ostream<char,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<char,traits>& out,
                                              signed char c);
    template<class traits>
      basic_ostream<char,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<char,traits>& out,
                                              unsigned char c);
    

    -1- Effects: Behaves as a formatted output function (30.7.5.2.1 [ostream.formatted.reqmts]) of out. Constructs a character sequence seq. If c has type char and the character type of the stream is not char, then seq consists of out.widen(c); otherwise seq consists of c. Determines padding for seq as described in 30.7.5.2.1 [ostream.formatted.reqmts]. Inserts seq into out. Calls osout.width(0).

    -2- Returns: out.

    template<class charT, class traits>
      basic_ostream<charT,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<charT,traits>& out,
                                              const charT* s);
    template<class charT, class traits>
      basic_ostream<charT,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<charT,traits>& out,
                                              const char* s);
    template<class traits>
      basic_ostream<char,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<char,traits>& out,
                                             const char* s);
    template<class traits>
      basic_ostream<wchar_t,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<wchar_t,traits>& out,
                                                const wchar_t* s);
    											
    template<class traits>
      basic_ostream<char,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<char,traits>& out,
                                             const signed char* s);
    template<class traits>
      basic_ostream<char,traits>& operator<<(basic_ostream<char,traits>& out,
                                             const unsigned char* s);
    

    -3- Requires: s shall not be a null pointer.

    -4- Effects: Behaves like a formatted inserter (as described in 30.7.5.2.1 [ostream.formatted.reqmts]) of out. Creates a character sequence seq of n characters starting at s, each widened using out.widen() (27.5.5.3), where n is the number that would be computed as if by:

    • traits::length(s) for the following overloads:

      • where the first argument is of type basic_ostream<charT, traits>& and the second is of type const charT*,

      • and also for the overload where the first argument is of type basic_ostream<char, traits>& and the second is of type const char*,

      • where the first argument is of type basic_ostream<wchar_t, traits>& and the second is of type const wchar_t*,

    • std::char_traits<char>::length(s) for the overload where the first argument is of type basic_ostream<charT, traits>& and the second is of type const char*,

    • traits::length(reinterpret_cast<const char*>(s)) for the other two overloads.

    Determines padding for seq as described in 30.7.5.2.1 [ostream.formatted.reqmts]. Inserts seq into out. Calls out.width(0).

    -5- Returns: out.