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String conversions

Contents
operator << overload for std::ostream
Catch::StringMaker specialisation
Catch::is_range specialisation
Exceptions

Catch needs to be able to convert types you use in assertions and logging expressions into strings (for logging and reporting purposes). Most built-in or std types are supported out of the box but there are two ways that you can tell Catch how to convert your own types (or other, third-party types) into strings.

operator << overload for std::ostream

This is the standard way of providing string conversions in C++ - and the chances are you may already provide this for your own purposes. If you're not familiar with this idiom it involves writing a free function of the form:

std::ostream& operator << ( std::ostream& os, T const& value ) {
    os << convertMyTypeToString( value );
    return os;
}

(where T is your type and convertMyTypeToString is where you'll write whatever code is necessary to make your type printable - it doesn't have to be in another function).

You should put this function in the same namespace as your type and have it declared before including Catch's header.

Catch::StringMaker specialisation

If you don't want to provide an operator << overload, or you want to convert your type differently for testing purposes, you can provide a specialization for Catch::StringMaker<T>:

namespace Catch {
    template<>
    struct StringMaker<T> {
        static std::string convert( T const& value ) {
            return convertMyTypeToString( value );
        }
    };
}

Catch::is_range specialisation

As a fallback, Catch attempts to detect if the type can be iterated (begin(T) and end(T) are valid) and if it can be, it is stringified as a range. For certain types this can lead to infinite recursion, so it can be disabled by specializing Catch::is_range like so:

namespace Catch {
    template<>
    struct is_range<T> {
        static const bool value = false;
    };
}

Exceptions

By default all exceptions deriving from std::exception will be translated to strings by calling the what() method. For exception types that do not derive from std::exception - or if what() does not return a suitable string - use CATCH_TRANSLATE_EXCEPTION. This defines a function that takes your exception type, by reference, and returns a string. It can appear anywhere in the code - it doesn't have to be in the same translation unit. For example:

CATCH_TRANSLATE_EXCEPTION( MyType& ex ) {
    return ex.message();
}

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