296. Missing descriptions and requirements of pair operators

Section: 23.4 [pairs] Status: C++11 Submitter: Martin Sebor Opened: 2001-01-14 Last modified: 2016-02-10

Priority: Not Prioritized

View all other issues in [pairs].

View all issues with C++11 status.


The synopsis of the header <utility> in 23.2 [utility] lists the complete set of equality and relational operators for pair but the section describing the template and the operators only describes operator==() and operator<(), and it fails to mention any requirements on the template arguments. The remaining operators are not mentioned at all.

[ 2009-09-27 Alisdair reopens. ]

The issue is a lack of wording specifying the semantics of std::pair relational operators. The rationale is that this is covered by catch-all wording in the relops component, and that as relops directly precedes pair in the document this is an easy connection to make.

Reading the current working paper I make two observations:

  1. relops no longer immediately precedes pair in the order of specification. However, even if it did, there is a lot of pair specification itself between the (apparently) unrelated relops and the relational operators for pair. (The catch-all still requires operator== and operator< to be specified explicitly)
  2. No other library component relies on the catch-all clause. The following all explicitly document all six relational operators, usually in a manner that could have deferred to the relops clause.
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The container components provide their own (equivalent) definition in 26.2.1 [container.requirements.general] Table 90 -- Container requirements and do so do not defer to relops.

Shared_ptr explicitly documents operator!= and does not supply the other 3 missing operators (>,>=,<=) so does not meet the reqirements of the relops clause.

Weak_ptr only supports operator< so would not be covered by relops.

At the very least I would request a note pointing to the relops clause we rely on to provide this definition. If this route is taken, I would recommend reducing many of the above listed clauses to a similar note rather than providing redundant specification.

My preference would be to supply the 4 missing specifications consistent with the rest of the library.

[ 2009-10-11 Daniel opens 1233 which deals with the same issue as it pertains to unique_ptr. ]

[ 2009-10 Santa Cruz: ]

Move to Ready

Proposed resolution:

After p20 23.4 [pairs] add:

template <class T1, class T2>
bool operator!=(const pair<T1,T2>& x, const pair<T1,T2>& y);

Returns: !(x==y)

template <class T1, class T2>
bool operator> (const pair<T1,T2>& x, const pair<T1,T2>& y);

Returns: y < x

template <class T1, class T2>
bool operator>=(const pair<T1,T2>& x, const pair<T1,T2>& y);

Returns: !(x < y)

template <class T1, class T2>
bool operator<=(const pair<T1,T2>& x, const pair<T1,T2>& y);

Returns: !(y < x)

Rationale: [operators] paragraph 10 already specifies the semantics. That paragraph says that, if declarations of operator!=, operator>, operator<=, and operator>= appear without definitions, they are defined as specified in [operators]. There should be no user confusion, since that paragraph happens to immediately precede the specification of pair.