Boost C++ Libraries

...one of the most highly regarded and expertly designed C++ library projects in the world. Herb Sutter and Andrei Alexandrescu, C++ Coding Standards

This is the documentation for a snapshot of the master branch, built from commit 983cce363c.
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Experimental

In <boost/outcome/experimental>, there ships an Outcome-based simulation of the proposed P1095 Zero overhead deterministic failure specific implementation of P0709 Zero overhead exceptions: Throwing values. This library-only implementation lets you use a close simulacrum of potential future C++ lightweight exceptions today in any C++ 14 compiler which Outcome supports.

This Experimental Outcome implementation has been in production use for some years now. It has shipped on at least one billion devices, as part of a games suite very popular on Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS and Google Android devices. It powers big iron enterprise applications as well, indeed all trades including futures in the United States are captured live into a database for the SEC by an Experimental Outcome based codebase. Finally, Experimental Outcome is used in the firmware of parts of driver assisting cars where its particularly rich and flexible failure added information combined with compatibility with globally disabled C++ exceptions proved to be a big win.

The base for failure handling in future C++ might be std::error from P1028 status_code. This proposal is currently being refined before WG21’s Library Evolution Working Group with the expectation that it will be standardised as a large enhancement and backwards compatible superset of std::error_code which is also capable of transporting any move-only type such as std::exception_ptr. Like std::error_code, proposed std::error occupies exactly two CPU registers of layout, and thus is extremely lightweight. It can wrap arbitrary third party error handling systems, and automatically constructs from std::error_code and std::exception_ptr, propagating the original underlying implementations (no matter how customised) exactly (e.g. boost::exception_ptr). Unlike <system_error>, std::error does not have dependencies on expensive standard library headers, so including it into your global build has a very low build time impact. std::error knows how to throw itself as a conventional C++ exception, and knows how to losslessly consume arbitrary C++ exception throws. Finally, std::error is ABI stable, and is a P1029 move bitcopying type whereby moved-from objects do not need to be destroyed.


Experimental Outcome uses the same proposed std::error object as P1095 would do for its E type by bundling internally a copy of https://ned14.github.io/status-code/, the reference implementation library for proposed std::error. Outcome emulates move bitcopying semantics for types declaring themselves move bitcopying via the trait is_move_bitcopying<T> , and status codes opt into this. This greatly improves codegen to be no worse than with std::error_code (a trivially copyable type), as https://godbolt.org/z/GEdEGc demonstrates, despite that proposed std::error is a move-only type with a non-trivial destructor.

Outcome binds status_code into basic_result and basic_outcome customisations via the following headers:

These headers import the entire contents of the BOOST_OUTCOME_SYSTEM_ERROR2_NAMESPACE namespace into the BOOST_OUTCOME_V2_NAMESPACE::experimental namespace. You can thus address everything in BOOST_OUTCOME_SYSTEM_ERROR2_NAMESPACE via BOOST_OUTCOME_V2_NAMESPACE::experimental.

As P1095 also proposes C language support for lightweight C++ exceptions, experimental Outcome also has a macro-based C interface that enables C code to work with the C-compatible subset of status_result<T, E>:

For non-Windows non-POSIX platforms such as some embedded systems, standalone Experimental Outcome can be used with the BOOST_OUTCOME_SYSTEM_ERROR2_NOT_POSIX macro defined. This does not include POSIX headers, and makes available a high fidelity, fully deterministic, alternative to C++ exceptions on such platforms.

Finally, there is a single include edition of Experimental Outcome, which can be found at https://github.com/ned14/outcome/blob/develop/single-header/outcome-experimental.hpp. You can play with this on godbolt by #include <outcome-experimental.hpp>.

warning

It is stressed, in the strongest possible terms, that any item inside <boost/outcome/experimental> is subject to unannounced breaking change based on WG21 standards committee feedback. That said, the chances are high that most of those breaking changes will be to naming rather than to fundamental semantics, so you can upgrade with a bit of find and replace.

Last revised: December 17, 2020 at 11:27:06 UTC


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