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From Travis Vitek <>
Subject fails on AIX
Date Fri, 02 Nov 2007 16:39:32 GMT

I'm working on fixing an issue with test on AIX. The
issue is that the test spins in a loop because the loop counter is being
thrashed when an exception is copied onto the stack. Here is a simple

#include <exception> 

void test_single_exception ()
    for (int i = 0; i < 5; ++i) {

        try {
            throw std::exception ();
        catch (std::exception ex) {


int main ()
    test_single_exception ();
    return 0;

So the issue is actually not that complicated. The exception type provided
by STDCXX is 4 bytes in size, and the native one is 8. In and of itself,
that shouldn't really be a problem because the two definitions should never
coexist, right? So the problem really shows up when the config tests run,
they set the following macros...


If I'm reading the code correctly, this means that STDCXX will provide
definitions for the default ctor, copy-assignment operator, dtor and what().
The definition of the copy-ctor will come from somewhere else [where?].
Anyways, an exception is created and copied out for the unwind. The
exception is then copied back onto the stack at the location the exception
is handled. The code that actually copies the exception expects the object
to be 8 bytes in size, but the code that created the exception only
allocates 4 bytes for it.

So here is my problem with all of this. How is this safe? If the one of the
'special' functions provided by the system has some side effect, and we use
that implementation, then how can we safely define any of the other
'special' functions?

That said, what is the appropriate solution? Should we just pad the type out
to the correct size, or should we provide our own definition of the copy
ctor, possibly looking at the compiler test to verify it is not wrong. Both
seem to work quite well, but I'm afraid I don't understand why we opt to use
the definitions of the 'special' functions that are provided. I guess I
would understand if I had got a linker error complaining of mulitply defined
symbols, but I don't.


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