580. unused allocator members

Section: 26.2.1 [container.requirements.general] Status: NAD Editorial Submitter: Martin Sebor Opened: 2006-06-14 Last modified: 2016-02-10

Priority: Not Prioritized

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Duplicate of: 479


C++ Standard Library templates that take an allocator as an argument are required to call the allocate() and deallocate() members of the allocator object to obtain storage. However, they do not appear to be required to call any other allocator members such as construct(), destroy(), address(), and max_size(). This makes these allocator members less than useful in portable programs.

It's unclear to me whether the absence of the requirement to use these allocator members is an unintentional omission or a deliberate choice. However, since the functions exist in the standard allocator and since they are required to be provided by any user-defined allocator I believe the standard ought to be clarified to explictly specify whether programs should or should not be able to rely on standard containers calling the functions.

I propose that all containers be required to make use of these functions.

[ Batavia: We support this resolution. Martin to provide wording. ]

[ pre-Oxford: Martin provided wording. ]

[ 2009-04-28 Pablo adds: ]

N2554 (scoped allocators), N2768 (allocator concepts), and N2810 (allocator defects), address all of these points EXCEPT max_size(). So, I would add a note to that affect and re-class the defect as belonging to section 26.2.1 [container.requirements.general].

[ 2009-07 Frankfurt ]

The comment in the description of this issue that this "would be" rendered editorial by the adoption of N2257 is confusing. It appears that N2257 was never adopted.

[ 2009-10 Santa Cruz: ]

NAD Editorial. Addressed by N2982.

Proposed resolution:

Specifically, I propose to change 26.2 [container.requirements], p9 as follows:

-9- Copy constructors for all container types defined in this clause that are parametrized on Allocator copy anthe allocator argument from their respective first parameters. All other constructors for these container types take an const Allocator& argument (20.1.6), an allocator whose value_type is the same as the container's value_type. A copy of this argument isshall be used for any memory allocation and deallocation performed, by these constructors and by all member functions, during the lifetime of each container object. Allocation shall be performed "as if" by calling the allocate() member function on a copy of the allocator object of the appropriate type New Footnote), and deallocation "as if" by calling deallocate() on a copy of the same allocator object of the corresponding type. A copy of this argument shall also be used to construct and destroy objects whose lifetime is managed by the container, including but not limited to those of the container's value_type, and to obtain their address. All objects residing in storage allocated by a container's allocator shall be constructed "as if" by calling the construct() member function on a copy of the allocator object of the appropriate type. The same objects shall be destroyed "as if" by calling destroy() on a copy of the same allocator object of the same type. The address of such objects shall be obtained "as if" by calling the address() member function on a copy of the allocator object of the appropriate type. Finally, a copy of this argument shall be used by its container object to determine the maximum number of objects of the container's value_type the container may store at the same time. The container member function max_size() obtains this number from the value returned by a call to get_allocator().max_size(). In all container types defined in this clause that are parametrized on Allocator, the member get_allocator() returns a copy of the Allocator object used to construct the container.258)

New Footnote: This type may be different from Allocator: it may be derived from Allocator via Allocator::rebind<U>::other for the appropriate type U.

The proposed wording seems cumbersome but I couldn't think of a better way to describe the requirement that containers use their Allocator to manage only objects (regardless of their type) that persist over their lifetimes and not, for example, temporaries created on the stack. That is, containers shouldn't be required to call Allocator::construct(Allocator::allocate(1), elem) just to construct a temporary copy of an element, or Allocator::destroy(Allocator::address(temp), 1) to destroy temporaries.

[ Howard: This same paragraph will need some work to accommodate 431. ]

[ post Oxford: This would be rendered NAD Editorial by acceptance of N2257. ]