987. reference_wrapper and function types

Section: 23.14.5 [refwrap] Status: C++11 Submitter: Howard Hinnant Opened: 2009-02-18 Last modified: 2016-02-10

Priority: Not Prioritized

View all other issues in [refwrap].

View all issues with C++11 status.


The synopsis in 23.14.5 [refwrap] says:

template <ObjectType T> class reference_wrapper

And then paragraph 3 says:

The template instantiation reference_wrapper<T> shall be derived from std::unary_function<T1, R> only if the type T is any of the following:

But function types are not ObjectTypes.

Paragraph 4 contains the same contradiction.

[ Post Summit: ]

Jens: restricted reference to ObjectType

Recommend Review.

[ Post Summit, Peter adds: ]

In https://svn.boost.org/trac/boost/ticket/1846 however Eric Niebler makes the very reasonable point that reference_wrapper<F>, where F is a function type, represents a reference to a function, a legitimate entity. So boost::ref was changed to allow it.


Therefore, I believe an alternative proposed resolution for issue 987 could simply allow reference_wrapper to be used with function types.

[ Post Summit, Howard adds: ]

I agree with Peter (and Eric). I got this one wrong on my first try. Here is code that demonstrates how easy (and useful) it is to instantiate reference_wrapper with a function type:

#include <functional>

template <class F>
void test(F f);

void f() {}

int main()

Output (link time error shows type of reference_wrapper instantiated with function type):

Undefined symbols:
  "void test<std::reference_wrapper<void ()()> >(std::reference_wrapper<void ()()>)",...

I've taken the liberty of changing the proposed wording to allow function types and set to Open. I'll also freely admit that I'm not positive ReferentType is the correct concept.

[ Batavia (2009-05): ]

Howard observed that FunctionType, a concept not (yet?) in the Working Paper, is likely the correct constraint to be applied. However, the proposed resolution provides an adequate approximation.

Move to Review.

[ 2009-05-23 Alisdair adds: ]

By constraining to PointeeType we rule out the ability for T to be a reference, and call in reference-collapsing. I'm not sure if this is correct and intended, but would like to be sure the case was considered.

Is dis-allowing reference types and the implied reference collapsing the intended result?

[ 2009-07 Frankfurt ]

Moved from Review to Open only because the wording needs to be tweaked for concepts removal.

[ 2009-10-14 Daniel provided de-conceptified wording. ]

[ 2009-10 post-Santa Cruz: ]

Move to Tentatively Ready.

Proposed resolution:

Change 23.14.5 [refwrap]/1 as indicated:

reference_wrapper<T> is a CopyConstructible and CopyAssignable wrapper around a reference to an object or function of type T.