C++20 Interesting Papers

Most of the big proposals for C++20 have been talked over quite a bit. But there are a few “hidden” ones that caught my eye.

As is normal when talking about “things in progress”, I must warn that these are just proposal. There is no guarantee they will show up in the final standard - or, if they do, that they look anything like the current draft of the proposals.


  • Signed size function

THere has been a lot of noise over the last few years about the fact that size_t is unsigned and so the corresponding .size() member functions on containers returns an unsigned results. A quick internet search would suggest that this is single-handedly the root of all evil in the software engineering field.

But the new std::span has a .size() function that returns a signed value.

Proposal 1227 jumps on this to make the suggestion that a new ssize() function be added to most containers - as well as a new std::ssize() free templated function.

I know I would use it.

Interestingly, Bjarne Stroustrup is (kinda) against this proposal - but only because it would also change std::span to the same unsigned behavior as other containers. He is definitely in favor of moving to sizes being signed.

P1208R3 -

Source Code Information Capture

The standard has had the magical “macros” __LINE__ and __FILE__ for some time as well as _func_. This Proposal wants to bundle that magic up into a structure that you can capture and move around.

I can’t say I’ve used __LINE__ and friends more than a few times, but I could see where this would ease some tasks around creating good error messages in libraries for logging, etc.

P1411R0 -

Please reconsider for C++20

What struck me about this is the sheer tenacity it shows. P1411 is actually a proposal about another proposal(P0052). P0052 has been brewing since 2013. As the author puts it …

p0052 ... is reaching an age it has to go to elementary school ...