Report From The Virtual ISO C++ Meetings in 2020 (core Language)

Report From The Virtual ISO C++ Meetings in 2020 (core Language)

C++ standardization was dramatically different in 2020 from earlier years. The business of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) committee all took place virtually, much like everything else during this pandemic. This article summarizes the C++ standardization proposals before the Core and Evolution Working Groups last year.

C++ standardization was dramatically different in 2020 from earlier years. The business of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) committee all took place virtually, much like everything else during this pandemic. This article summarizes the C++ standardization proposals before the Core and Evolution Working Groups last year.

Core language

The C++ Core Working Group (CWG) had already been holding monthly Zoom teleconferences between meetings; this was how I encountered Zoom in the before times. So the transition for us was fairly smooth.

We did end up moving a few papers at a virtual full committee plenary on one of the days of the canceled November meeting.

Literal suffix for (signed) size_t

This paper (P0330) was ready after the Belfast meeting in November 2019, but because it was intended as a C++23 feature, we didn't want to bring it up for a vote until after we finished C++20. This proposal makes it easier to write a constant of size_t or ptrdiff_t type. This practice is useful, for instance, to match the return type of a size() function:

Earlier versions of this proposal used t for ptrdiff_t and z for size_t, like the printf conversion specifiers, but the final version uses uz for size_t and z for the corresponding signed type (usually the same as ptrdiff_t).

Numeric and universal character escapes in character and string literals

This paper (P2029) clarifies the handling of hex and octal character escapes to standardize the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) behavior rather than the (Microsoft Visual C++) MSVC behavior: Namely, that a single escape code can correspond to a single UTF-8 code unit, not necessarily an entire character.

Declarations and where to find them

During the week of the planned June meeting, CWG decided to meet for the full week, two hours a day, to continue reviewing a paper (P1787) we had started to look at in Prague: An ambitious proposal to overhaul the wording for declaration scope and name lookup completely, and thereby fix more than 60 open issues. One week stretched into three before we got through the whole paper.

This paper's changes should not affect a significant amount of code; many changes are clarifications that bring the wording in line with existing practice. Some are clarifications of corner cases that most code doesn't depend on, such as ambiguous lookup within a conversion-type-id.

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