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Subject: Re: Explicit instantiation declarations and requires clauses
From: Christopher Head (chead_at_[hidden])
Date: 2019-09-28 11:24:22


On Sun, 8 Sep 2019 09:54:50 -0700
Christopher Head <chead_at_[hidden]> wrote:

> Hi folks,
> From reading the standard draft, I’m reasonably certain (though could
> be wrong—please correct me if so) that, if a template has a requires
> clause, the requires clause is checked for an explicit instantiation
> declaration. GCC also seems to work this way (and is the only compiler
> I have access to that supports concepts at all, so is the only one I
> could test).
>
> Why is this so? It seems to me that it’s both unnecessary and also
> somewhat annoying.
>
> It’s unnecessary, as far as I can see, because any program containing
> an explicit instantiation declaration, assuming that specialization is
> used anywhere, must also contain a matching explicit instantiation
> definition in some translation unit; therefore, to ensure that the
> requires clause is checked properly, it would be sufficient (in the
> sense that the constraint would be checked somewhere and the program
> as a whole would fail to compile on constraint violation) to check the
> requirements at the point of explicit instantiation definition, while
> ignoring them at the explicit instantiation declaration.
>
> It’s annoying because it means an explicit instantiation declaration
> can no longer use an incomplete type as a template parameter, which
> used to be possible in the absence of a requires clause (the explicit
> instantiation definition would typically require a complete type
> because the template being instantiated would typically need the type
> to be complete in order to do interesting things with it, but the
> explicit instantiation declaration may not—for example, a class
> template whose class body doesn’t require a complete type but whose
> function bodies do, and whose function bodies are provided in a single
> translation unit rather than in a header file, should be able to use
> an incomplete type in the header file and a complete type in the
> source file).
>
> Can anyone explain if (1) I have understood the situation correctly,
> and (2) there is any reason why explicit instantiation declarations
> need to check requires clauses?
>
> Thank you!

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

-- 
Christopher Head

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