The use of a consistent terminology is as important for Ranges and range-based algorithms as it is for iterators and iterator-based algorithms. If a conventional set of names are adopted, we can avoid misunderstandings and write generic function prototypes that are self-documenting.
Since ranges are characterized by a specific underlying iterator type, we get a type of range for each type of iterator. Hence we can speak of the following types of ranges:
Value access category:
Notice how we have used the categories from the new style iterators.
Notice that an iterator (and therefore an range) has one traversal property and one or more properties from the value access category. So in reality we will mostly talk about mixtures such as
By convention, we should always specify the traversal property first as done above. This seems reasonable since there will only be one traversal property, but perhaps many value access properties.
It might, however, be reasonable to specify only one category if the other
category does not matter. For example, the
iterator_range can be constructed
from a Forward Range. This means that we do not care about what value
access properties the Range has. Similarly, a Readable
Range will be one that has the lowest possible traversal
property (Single Pass).
As another example, consider how we specify the interface of
std::sort(). Algorithms are usually more cumbersome to
specify the interface of since both traversal
and value access properties
must be exactly defined. The iterator-based version looks like this:
template< class RandomAccessTraversalReadableWritableIterator > void sort( RandomAccessTraversalReadableWritableIterator first, RandomAccessTraversalReadableWritableIterator last );
For ranges the interface becomes
template< class RandomAccessReadableWritableRange > void sort( RandomAccessReadableWritableRange& r );