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Chapter 8. Boost.Container

Ion Gaztanaga

Distributed under the Boost Software License, Version 1.0. (See accompanying file LICENSE_1_0.txt or copy at

Table of Contents

Building Boost.Container
Tested compilers
Main features
Efficient insertion
Containers of Incomplete Types
SCARY iterators
Other features
Boost.Container and C++ exceptions
Non-standard containers
flat_(multi)map/set associative containers
Extended functionality
Default initialization for vector-like containers
Ordered range insertion for associative containers (ordered_unique_range, ordered_range)
Configurable tree-based associative ordered containers
Constant-time range splice for (s)list
Extended allocators
C++11/C++14 Conformance
Move and Emplace
Stateful allocators
Scoped allocators
Insertion hints in associative containers and preserving insertion ordering for elements with equivalent keys
Initializer lists
Null Forward Iterators
vector vs. std::vector exception guarantees
Parameter taken by const reference that can be changed
vector<bool> specialization
Non-standard value initialization using std::memset
Known Issues
Move emulation limitations in C++03 compilers
History and reasons to use Boost.Container
Boost.Container history
Why Boost.Container?
Class Index
Typedef Index
Function Index
Boost.Container Header Reference
Header <boost/container/adaptive_pool.hpp>
Header <boost/container/allocator.hpp>
Header <boost/container/allocator_traits.hpp>
Header <boost/container/container_fwd.hpp>
Header <boost/container/deque.hpp>
Header <boost/container/flat_map.hpp>
Header <boost/container/flat_set.hpp>
Header <boost/container/list.hpp>
Header <boost/container/map.hpp>
Header <boost/container/new_allocator.hpp>
Header <boost/container/node_allocator.hpp>
Header <boost/container/options.hpp>
Header <boost/container/scoped_allocator.hpp>
Header <boost/container/scoped_allocator_fwd.hpp>
Header <boost/container/set.hpp>
Header <boost/container/slist.hpp>
Header <boost/container/small_vector.hpp>
Header <boost/container/stable_vector.hpp>
Header <boost/container/static_vector.hpp>
Header <boost/container/string.hpp>
Header <boost/container/throw_exception.hpp>
Header <boost/container/vector.hpp>
Acknowledgements, notes and links
Release Notes
Boost 1.58 Release
Boost 1.57 Release
Boost 1.56 Release
Boost 1.55 Release
Boost 1.54 Release
Boost 1.53 Release
Boost 1.52 Release
Boost 1.51 Release
Boost 1.50 Release
Boost 1.49 Release
Boost 1.48 Release

Boost.Container library implements several well-known containers, including STL containers. The aim of the library is to offers advanced features not present in standard containers or to offer the latest standard draft features for compilers that comply with C++03.

In short, what does Boost.Container offer?

  • Move semantics are implemented, including move emulation for pre-C++11 compilers.
  • New advanced features (e.g. placement insertion, recursive containers) are present.
  • Containers support stateful allocators and are compatible with Boost.Interprocess (they can be safely placed in shared memory).
  • The library offers new useful containers:
    • flat_map, flat_set, flat_multimap and flat_multiset: drop-in replacements for standard associative containers but more memory friendly and with faster searches.
    • stable_vector: a std::list and std::vector hybrid container: vector-like random-access iterators and list-like iterator stability in insertions and erasures.
    • slist: the classic pre-standard singly linked list implementation offering constant-time size(). Note that C++11 forward_list has no size().

There is no need to compile Boost.Container if you don't use Extended Allocators since in that case it's a header-only library. Just include your Boost header directory in your compiler include path.

Extended Allocators are implemented as a separately compiled library, so you must install binaries in a location that can be found by your linker when using these classes. If you followed the Boost Getting Started instructions, that's already been done for you.

Boost.Container requires a decent C++98 compatibility. Some compilers known to work are:

  • Visual C++ >= 7.1.
  • GCC >= 4.1.
  • Intel C++ >= 9.0

Last revised: April 02, 2015 at 09:16:16 GMT