[cfe-dev] Specializing templates on Objective-C ARC ownership annotations

Erik Pilkington via cfe-dev cfe-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue Jul 31 16:36:06 PDT 2018

CCing Akira, who knows a lot more about this. Interestingly, this works:

template <class T> struct test;
template <class T> struct test<T * __weak> {};
template <class T> struct test<T *> {};

test<Foo * __weak> x; // selects first specialization

But this doesn't:

template <class T> struct test;
template <class T> struct test<T *__strong> {};
template <class T> struct test<T *> {};

test<Foo * __strong> x; // error, specializations are ambiguous

I think the problem here is that T *'s are implicitly __strong when 
objc-arc is enabled, so the specializations are equivalent. Maybe we 
could still treat the first specialization as more specialized since it 
has an explicit __strong. Either way, I think you can work around this 
by checking if T is an interface type, in which case you know it'll be 
implicitly __strong.

On 7/31/18 3:14 PM, Louis Dionne via cfe-dev wrote:
> I'm trying to partially specialize a template on ARC-annotated pointer types, and I'm finding it doesn't work. Specifically, the following fails because the "specialization" for `T __strong*` is never considered, and we always fall back to the specialization for `T*`:
>      // clang test.mm -fobjc-arc -ObjC++ -std=c++14
>      #import <Foundation/NSObject.h>
>      @interface Foo: NSObject
>      { }
>      @end
>      template <typename T> struct Specialize;
>      template <typename T> struct Specialize<T*> { static constexpr bool value = false; };
>      template <typename T> struct Specialize<T __strong*> { static constexpr bool value = true; };
>      static_assert(Specialize<Foo __strong*>::value, "");
>      int main() { }
> I have a few questions:
> - Does this even make sense? I don't know much of Objective-C, so it's possible that treating ownership qualifiers like cv qualifiers is not even sensical.
> - If it does make sense, why is it not supported? Is this simply a bug that needs fixing?
> Strangely enough, I haven't found anything online regarding this, so I'm turning to this list as a last resort.
> Thanks,
> Louis
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