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From "Travis Vitek" <>
Subject RE: preconditions for aligned_union
Date Wed, 18 Jun 2008 17:03:43 GMT

>Eric Lemings wrote:
>> Travis Vitek wrote:
>> I'm looking at the standard, and it appears that the following is
>> legal...
>>   struct incomplete_t;
>>   std::aligned_union<0, void, incomplete_t>::type
>>       aligned_t;
>> [...]
>> Now I could implement aligned_union<> to ignore incomplete 
>> types (they have no alignment requirement), but this might
>> cause problems if someone tried to use the result.
>How so?  If someone uses only such types in the list (probably a very
>rare use case), a zero result should be expected.  If alignable types
>are mixed with such non-alignable types, the result would be as if no
>such non-alignable types were given.

What if none of the provided types have an alignment requirement or
size? What should the alignment be? What should the size be?

>So I'd say just ignore non-alignable types.

So you see no problem with the following code failing at runtime due to
misalignment or insufficient space?

  struct incomplete_t;

  // supposed to be 'suitable for use as uninitialized
  // storage for any object whose type listed and will
  // be at least Len bytes
  std::aligned_union<1, incomplete_t>::type aligned_buf;

  struct incomplete_t
    long double val;
    // [...]

  void save_value (const long double& v)
      ((incomplete_t*)&aligned_buf)->val = v;

I'm pretty sure that the standard assumes we will use
std::alignment_of<> and std::aligned_storage<> to implement
std::aligned_union<>. If that is the case, then the requirement for the
type to be complete would be implied.


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