max() in phobos, and English logic operators

Daniel Keep daniel.keep.lists at
Thu Nov 9 18:38:52 PST 2006

David Qualls wrote:
> == Quote from Bill Baxter (dnewsgroup at's article
>> But my point was just that the extra information is not
> necessary for
>> the macro version.  The intended meaning of max(x,0) is clear
> enough to
>> the reader, so the compiler should be able to handle it without
>> complaining, too.
>> --bb
> EXACTLY!  I also think you (mostly) nailed it with
>> About signed types, I think
>>     auto c = max(a,b)
>> should pick the same type for c that the compiler would pick for
>>     auto c = a+b;
> except I don't think max(10U , -1) should return -1 cast to an
> unsigned!

One thing I did when I was playing around with some MMX code was write a
template that figured out the "expression-safe" type of something.
Basically, it was the type for which any expression involving the base
type could be contained in.  I used it to ensure that stuff like int+int
wouldn't overflow.

You could always say that when combining a signed and unsigned type,
take the signed type large enough to hold either.  If the user has a
problem with having to cast it back, tell him to use arguments of the
same type, damnit!

"But I don't *wanna*!"
"Tough.  Don't wanna deal with types?  Go program in PHP."
"I'll behave..."

	-- Daniel

Unlike Knuth, I have neither proven or tried the above; it may not even
make sense.


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