Title
Completeness of array types
Status
c++11
Section
6.8 [basic.types]
Submitter
Steve Clamage

Created on 2007-02-16.00:00:00 last changed 96 months ago

Messages

Date: 2010-08-23.00:00:00

[Voted into WP at August, 2010 meeting.]

Date: 2010-03-15.00:00:00

Proposed resolution (March, 2010):

  1. Change 9.3.4.5 [dcl.array] paragraph 1 as follows:

  2. ...If Except as noted below, if the constant expression is omitted, the type of the identifier of D is “derived-declarator-type-list array of unknown bound of T,” an incomplete object type...
  3. Change 9.3.4.5 [dcl.array] paragraphs 3-4 as follows:

  4. When several “array of” specifications are adjacent, a multidimensional array is created; only the first of the constant expressions that specify the bounds of the arrays can may be omitted only for the first member of the sequence. [Note: this elision is useful for function parameters of array types, and when the array is external and the definition, which allocates storage, is given elsewhere. —end note] In addition to declarations in which an incomplete object type is allowed, an array bound may be omitted in some cases in the declaration of a function parameter (9.3.4.6 [dcl.fct]). The first constant-expression can An array bound may also be omitted when the declarator is followed by an initializer (9.4 [dcl.init]). In this case the bound is calculated from the number of initial elements (say, N) supplied (9.4.2 [dcl.init.aggr]), and the type of the identifier of D is “array of N T.” Furthermore, if there is a preceding declaration of the entity in the same scope in which the bound was specified, an omitted array bound is taken to be the same as in that earlier declaration, and similarly for the definition of a static data member of a class.

    [Example:...

    ...can reasonably appear in an expression. Finally,

      extern int x[10];
      struct S {
        static int y[10];
      };
    
      int x[];                //OK: bound is 10
      int S::y[];             //OK: bound is 10
    
      void f() {
        extern int x[];
        int i = sizeof(x);    //error: incomplete object type
      }
    

    end example]

Date: 2008-09-15.00:00:00

Notes from the September, 2008 meeting:

The proposed resolution does not capture the result favored by the CWG: array bound information should be accumulated across declarations within the same scope, but a block extern declaration in a nested scope should not inherit array bound information from the outer declaration. (This is consistent with the treatment of default arguments in function declarations.) For example:

    int a[5];
    void f() {
        extern int a[];
        sizeof(a);
    }

Although there was some confusion about the C99 wording dealing with this case, it is probably well-formed in C99. However, it should be ill-formed in C++, because we want to avoid the concept of “compatible types” as it exists in C.

Date: 2008-06-15.00:00:00

Proposed resolution (June, 2008):

  1. Change 9.3.4.5 [dcl.array] paragraph 1 as follows:

  2. ...If Except as noted below, if the constant expression is omitted, the type of the identifier of D is “derived-declarator-type-list array of unknown bound of T,” an incomplete object type...
  3. Change 9.3.4.5 [dcl.array] paragraph 3 as follows:

  4. When several “array of” specifications are adjacent, a multidimensional array is created; only the first of the constant expressions that specify the bounds of the arrays can may be omitted only for the first member of the sequence. [Note: this elision is useful for function parameters of array types, and when the array is external and the definition, which allocates storage, is given elsewhere. —end note] In addition to declarations in which an incomplete object type is allowed, an array bound may be omitted in the declaration of a function parameter (9.3.4.6 [dcl.fct]). The first constant-expression can An array bound may also be omitted when the declarator is followed by an initializer (9.4 [dcl.init]). In this case the bound is calculated from the number of initial elements (say, N) supplied (9.4.2 [dcl.init.aggr]), and the type of the identifier of D is “array of N T.” Furthermore, if there is a visible declaration of the name declared by the declarator-id (if any) in which the bound was specified, an omitted array bound is taken to be the same as in that earlier declaration.
Date: 2007-04-15.00:00:00

Notes from the April, 2007 meeting:

The CWG agreed that this usage should be permitted.

Date: 2007-02-16.00:00:00

Is the following example well-formed?

    struct S {
        static char a[5];
    };
    char S::a[];    // Unspecified bound in definition

6.6 [basic.link] paragraph 10 certainly makes allowance for declarations to differ in the presence or absence of a major array bound. However, 6.2 [basic.def] paragraph 5 says that

A program is ill-formed if the definition of any object gives the object an incomplete type (6.8 [basic.types]).

6.8 [basic.types] paragraph 7 says,

The declared type of an array object might be an array of unknown size and therefore be incomplete at one point in a translation unit and complete later on; the array types at those two points (“array of unknown bound of T” and “array of N T”) are different types.

This wording appears to make no allowance for the C concept of “composite type;” instead, each declaration is said to have its own type. By this interpretation, the example is ill-formed, because the type declared by the definition of S::a is incomplete.

If the example is intended to be well-formed, the Standard needs explicit wording stating that an omitted array bound in a declaration is implicitly taken from that of a visible declaration of that object, if any.

History
Date User Action Args
2014-03-03 00:00:00adminsetstatus: fdis -> c++11
2011-04-10 00:00:00adminsetstatus: wp -> fdis
2010-11-29 00:00:00adminsetstatus: dr -> wp
2010-08-23 00:00:00adminsetmessages: + msg2907
2010-08-23 00:00:00adminsetstatus: ready -> dr
2010-03-29 00:00:00adminsetstatus: review -> ready
2010-02-16 00:00:00adminsetmessages: + msg2525
2010-02-16 00:00:00adminsetstatus: drafting -> review
2008-10-05 00:00:00adminsetmessages: + msg1774
2008-10-05 00:00:00adminsetstatus: review -> drafting
2008-06-29 00:00:00adminsetmessages: + msg1690
2008-06-29 00:00:00adminsetstatus: drafting -> review
2007-05-06 00:00:00adminsetmessages: + msg1485
2007-05-06 00:00:00adminsetstatus: open -> drafting
2007-02-16 00:00:00admincreate