Title
Order of initialization in instantiation units
Status
cd1
Section
5.2 [lex.phases]
Submitter
Mark Mitchell

Created on 2002-07-02.00:00:00 last changed 162 months ago

Messages

Date: 2004-03-15.00:00:00

[Voted into WP at March 2004 meeting.]

Date: 2003-04-15.00:00:00

Proposed resolution (April 2003):

TC1 contains the following text in 6.9.3.2 [basic.start.static] paragraph 1:

Objects with static storage duration defined in namespace scope in the same translation unit and dynamically initialized shall be initialized in the order in which their definition appears in the translation unit.

This was revised by issue 270 to read:

Dynamic initialization of an object is either ordered or unordered. Explicit specializations and definitions of class template static data members have ordered initialization. Other class template static data member instances have unordered initialization. Other objects defined in namespace scope have ordered initialization. Objects defined within a single translation unit and with ordered initialization shall be initialized in the order of their definitions in the translation unit. The order of initialization is unspecified for objects with unordered initialization and for objects defined in different translation units.

This addresses this issue but while reviewing this issue some additional changes were suggested for the above wording:

Dynamic initialization of an object is either ordered or unordered. Definitions of explicitly specialized Explicit specializations and definitions of class template static data members have ordered initialization. Other class template static data members (i.e., implicitly or explicitly instantiated specializations) instances have unordered initialization. Other objects defined in namespace scope have ordered initialization. Objects defined within a single translation unit and with ordered initialization shall be initialized in the order of their definitions in the translation unit. The order of initialization is unspecified for objects with unordered initialization and for objects defined in different translation units.
Date: 2002-10-15.00:00:00

Notes from October 2002 meeting:

We discussed this and agreed that we really do mean the the order is unspecified. John Spicer will propose wording on handling of instantiation units in initialization.

Date: 2002-11-08.00:00:00

Should this program do what its author obviously expects? As far as I can tell, the standard says that the point of instantiation for Fib<n-1>::Value is the same as the point of instantiation as the enclosing specialization, i.e., Fib<n>::Value. What in the standard actually says that these things get initialized in the right order?

  template<int n>
  struct Fib { static int Value; };

  template <>
  int Fib<0>::Value = 0;

  template <>
  int Fib<1>::Value = 1;

  template<int n>
  int Fib<n>::Value = Fib<n-1>::Value + Fib<n-2>::Value;

  int f ()
  {
    return Fib<40>::Value;
  }

John Spicer: My opinion is that the standard does not specify the behavior of this program. I thought there was a core issue related to this, but I could not find it. The issue that I recall proposed tightening up the static initialization rules to make more cases well defined.

Your comment about point of instantiation is correct, but I don't think that really matters. What matters is the order of execution of the initialization code at execution time. Instantiations don't really live in "translation units" according to the standard. They live in "instantiation units", and the handling of instantiation units in initialization is unspecified (which should probably be another core issue). See 5.2 [lex.phases] paragraph 8.

History
Date User Action Args
2008-10-05 00:00:00adminsetstatus: wp -> cd1
2004-04-09 00:00:00adminsetmessages: + msg998
2004-04-09 00:00:00adminsetstatus: ready -> wp
2003-11-15 00:00:00adminsetstatus: review -> ready
2002-11-08 00:00:00adminsetmessages: + msg732
2002-11-08 00:00:00adminsetmessages: + msg731
2002-11-08 00:00:00adminsetstatus: open -> review
2002-07-02 00:00:00admincreate