Saturday, March 22, 2014

your compiler ^ the c++ standard

C++ has many compilers offering extensions.

Many developers write code based on the c++ standard. You could decide "if this operation fails, I would get this particular error according to the standard."

Well, unless you are aiming for portability, you had better respect your local compiler more than the language standard. Your local compiler could add a "feature" and avoid raising that error. Side effect – you don't get "reminded" and you assume everything worked as expected – dangerous. There could be a compile-time warning but then it's often drowned in the noise. Poor signal/noise ratio.

My stance -- know your compiler. Whenever the standard says some unusual condition should end in a certain way (or one of several ways), check your compiler's conformance.

It's also possible that the standard says this condition should return a null pointer or silently return, but a compiler adds a much-needed diagnostic feature to catch it. Sounds too good, but then the problem is, if you tweak some debug-build settings (or when you port your code to another compiler) you could lose the "reminders" that you depend on. Your code may appear to work in UAT but fail in production.

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New York (Time Square), NY, United States
http://www.linkedin.com/in/tanbin