...one of the most highly
regarded and expertly designed C++ library projects in the
world. — Herb Sutter and Andrei
This library should compile and run correctly on any conforming C++14 compiler.
The Safe Numerics library is implemented in terms of some more fundamental software components described here. It is not necessary to know about these components to use the library. This information has been included to help those who want to understand how the library works so they can extend it, correct bugs in it, or understand its limitations. These components are also interesting and likely useful in their own right. For all these reasons, they are documented here.
In general terms, the library works in the following manner:
At compile time:
The library defines "safe" versions of C++ primitive arithmetic
types such as
unsigned int, etc.
Arithmetic operators are defined for these "safe" types. These operators are enhanced versions of the standard C/C++ implementations. These operators are declared and implemented in the files "safe_base.hpp" and "safe_base_operations.hpp".
For binary operators, verify that both operands have the same promotion and and exception handling policies. If they don't, invoke compilation error.
Invoke the promotion policy to determine the result type R of the operation.
For each operand of type T retrieve the range of values from
std::numeric_limits<T>::max(). A range is a pair of
values representing a closed interval with a minimum and maximum
These ranges are cast to equivalent values of the result type,
R. It's possible that values cannot be cast to the result type so the
result of the cast is returned as a variant type,
may hold either a value of type R or a
value indicating why the cast could not be accomplished. Ranges are
represented as a pair of values of the type
can be considered enhanced versions of the underlying type R.
Operations which are legal on values of type R such as +, -, ... are
also legal on values of
The difference is that the latter can record operation failures and
propagate such failures to subsequent operations.
is implemented in the header file "checked_result.hpp".
Operations on such types are implemented in "checked_result_operations.hpp".
Given the ranges of the operands, determine the range of the
result of the operation using compile-time interval arithmetic. The
constexpr facility of C++14 permits the range of the
result to be calculated at compile time. Interval arithmetic is
implemented in the header file "interval.hpp".
The range of the result is also represented as a pair of values of the
Operations on primitives are implemented via free standing
functions described as checked arithmetic.
These operations will return instances of
At run time:
If the range of the result type includes only arithmetically valid values, the operation is guaranteed to produce an arithmetically correct result and no runtime checking is necessary. The operation invokes the original built-in C/C++ operation and returns the result value.
Otherwise, operands are cast to the result type, R, according to
the selected promotion policy. These "checked" cast operations return
values of type
If either of the casting operations fails, an exception is handled in accordance with the exception policy.
Otherwise, the operation is performed using "checked arithmetic".
These free functions mirror the normal operators +, -, *, ... except
that rather than returning values of type R, they return values of the
They are defined in files "checked_default.hpp",
If the operation is not successful, the designated exception policy function is invoked.
Otherwise, the result value is returned as a
safe<R> type with the above calculated result
The following components realize the design described here.