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README.md

span lite: A single-file header-only version of a C++20-like span for C++98, C++11 and later

Language License Build Status Build status Version download Conan Try it on wandbox Try it on godbolt online

Contents

Example usage

#include "nonstd/span.hpp"
#include <array>
#include <vector>
#include <iostream>

std::ptrdiff_t size( nonstd::span<const int> spn )
{
    return spn.size();
}

int main()
{
    int arr[] = { 1, };
    
    std::cout << 
        "C-array:" << size( arr ) <<
        " array:"  << size( std::array <int, 2>{ 1, 2, } ) <<
        " vector:" << size( std::vector<int   >{ 1, 2, 3, } );
}

Compile and run

prompt> g++ -std=c++11 -Wall -I../include -o 01-basic.exe 01-basic.cpp && 01-basic.exe
C-array:1 array:2 vector:3

In a nutshell

span lite is a single-file header-only library to provide a bounds-safe view for sequences of objects. The library provides a C++20-like span for use with C++98 and later. If available, std::span is used, unless configured otherwise. span-lite can detect the presence of byte-lite and if present, it provides as_bytes() and as_writeable_bytes() also for C++14 and earlier.

Features and properties of span lite are ease of installation (single header), freedom of dependencies other than the standard library. To compensate for the class template argument deduction that is missing from pre-C++17 compilers, nonstd::span can provide make_span functions. See configuration.

License

span lite is distributed under the Boost Software License.

Dependencies

span lite has no other dependencies than the C++ standard library.

Installation and use

span lite is a single-file header-only library. Put span.hpp in the include folder directly into the project source tree or somewhere reachable from your project.

Synopsis

Contents
Documentation of std::span
Later additions
Non-standard extensions
Configuration

Documentation of std::span

Depending on the compiler and C++-standard used, nonstd::span behaves less or more like std::span. To get an idea of the capabilities of nonstd::span with your configuration, look at the output of the tests, issuing span-main.t --pass @. For std::span, see its documentation at cppreference.

Later additions

back() and front() (

span lite can provide back() and front() member functions for element access. See the table below and section configuration.

Non-standard extensions

Construct from container

To construct a span from a container with compilers that cannot constrain such a single-parameter constructor to containers, span lite provides a constructor that takes an additional parameter of type with_container_t. Use with_container as value for this parameter. See the table below and section configuration.

Construct from std::array with const data

span lite can provide construction of a span from a std::array with const data. See the table below and section configuration.

operator()

span lite can provide member function call operator() for element access. It is equivalent to operator[] and has been marked [[deprecated]]. Its main purpose is to provide a migration path.

at()

span lite can provide member function at() for element access. Unless exceptions have been disabled, at() throws std::out_of_range if the index falls outside the span. With exceptions disabled, at(index_t) delegates bounds checking to operator[](index_t). See the table below and sections configuration and disable exceptions.

swap()

span lite can provide a swap()member function. See the table below and section configuration.

operator==() and other comparison functions

span lite can provide functions to compare the content of two spans. However, C++20's span will not provide comparison and span lite will omit comparison at default in the near future. See the table below and section configuration. See also Revisiting Regular Types.

same()

span lite can provide function same() to determine if two spans refer as identical spans to the same data via the same type. If same() is enabled, operator==() incorporates it in its comparison. See the table below and section configuration.

first(), last() and subspan()

span lite can provide functions first(), last() and subspan() to avoid having to use the dot template syntax when the span is a dependent type. See the table below and section configuration.

make_span()

span lite can provide make_span() creator functions to compensate for the class template argument deduction that is missing from pre-C++17 compilers. See the table below and section configuration.

byte_span()

span lite can provide byte_span() creator functions to represent an object as a span of bytes. This requires the C++17 type std::byte to be available. See the table below and section configuration.

Kind std Function or method
Macro   macro span_FEATURE_WITH_CONTAINER
macro span_FEATURE_WITH_CONTAINER_TO_STD
Types   with_container_t type to disambiguate below constructors
Objects   with_container value to disambiguate below constructors
Constructors   macro span_FEATURE_CONSTRUCTION_FROM_STDARRAY_ELEMENT_TYPE
    template<class Container>
constexpr span(with_container_t, Container & cont)
    template<class Container>
constexpr span(with_container_t, Container const & cont)
     
Methods   macro span_FEATURE_MEMBER_CALL_OPERATOR
    constexpr reference operator()(index_t idx) const
Equivalent to operator[](), marked [[deprecated]]
     
Methods   macro span_FEATURE_MEMBER_AT
    constexpr reference at(index_t idx) const
May throw std::out_of_range exception
     
Methods   macro span_FEATURE_MEMBER_BACK_FRONT (on since v0.5.0)
    constexpr reference back() const noexcept
    constexpr reference front() const noexcept
     
Method   macro span_FEATURE_MEMBER_SWAP
    constexpr void swap(span & other) noexcept
     
Free functions   macro span_FEATURE_COMPARISON


== != < > <= >=
  template<class T1, index_t E1, class T2, index_t E2>
constexpr bool
operator==( span<T1,E1> const & l, span<T2,E2> const & r) noexcept
     
Free function   macro span_FEATURE_SAME
    template<class T1, index_t E1, class T2, index_t E2>
constexpr bool
same( span<T1,E1> const & l, span<T2,E2> const & r) noexcept
     
Free functions   macro span_FEATURE_NON_MEMBER_FIRST_LAST_SUB
  >= C++11 template<extent_t Count, class T>
constexpr auto
first(T & t) ->...
  >= C++11 template<class T>
constexpr auto
first(T & t, index_t count) ->...
  >= C++11 template<extent_t Count, class T>
constexpr auto
last(T & t) ->...
  >= C++11 template<class T>
constexpr auto
last(T & t, extent_t count) ->...
  >= C++11 template<index_t Offset, extent_t Count = dynamic_extent, class T>
constexpr auto
subspan(T & t) ->...
  >= C++11 template<class T>
constexpr auto
subspan(T & t, index_t offset, extent_t count = dynamic_extent) ->...
     
Free functions   macro span_FEATURE_MAKE_SPAN
macro span_FEATURE_MAKE_SPAN_TO_STD
    template<class T>
constexpr span<T>
make_span(T * first, T * last) noexcept
    template<class T>
constexpr span<T>
make_span(T * ptr, index_t count) noexcept
    template<class T, size_t N>
constexpr span<T,N>
make_span(T (&arr)[N]) noexcept
  >= C++11 template<class T, size_t N>
constexpr span<T,N>
make_span(std::array<T,N> & arr) noexcept
  >= C++11 template<class T, size_t N>
constexpr span<const T,N>
make_span(std::array<T,N > const & arr) noexcept
  >= C++11 template<class Container>
constexpr auto
make_span(Container & cont) ->
 span<typename Container::value_type> noexcept
  >= C++11 template<class Container>
constexpr auto
make_span(Container const & cont) ->
 span<const typename Container::value_type> noexcept
    template<class Container>
span<typename Container::value_type>
make_span( with_container_t, Container & cont )
    template<class Container>
span<const typename Container::value_type>
make_span( with_container_t, Container const & cont )
  < C++11 template<class T, Allocator>
span<T>
make_span(std::vector<T, Allocator> & cont)
  < C++11 template<class T, Allocator>
span<const T>
make_span(std::vector<T, Allocator> const & cont)
     
Free functions   macro span_FEATURE_BYTE_SPAN
  >= C++11 template<class T>
span<T, sizeof(T)>
byte_span(T & t)
  >= C++11 template<class T>
span<const T, sizeof(T)>
byte_span(T const & t)

Configuration

Standard selection macro

-Dspan_CPLUSPLUS=199711L
Define this macro to override the auto-detection of the supported C++ standard, if your compiler does not set the __cplusplus macro correctly.

Select std::span or nonstd::span

At default, span lite uses std::span if it is available and lets you use it via namespace nonstd. You can however override this default and explicitly request to use std::span or span lite's nonstd::span as nonstd::span via the following macros.

-Dspan_CONFIG_SELECT_SPAN=span_SPAN_DEFAULT
Define this to span_SPAN_STD to select std::span as nonstd::span. Define this to span_SPAN_NONSTD to select nonstd::span as nonstd::span. Default is undefined, which has the same effect as defining to span_SPAN_DEFAULT.

Select index type

-Dspan_CONFIG_INDEX_TYPE=std::ptrdiff_t
Define this to std::size_t to use the unsigned type as generally used in the standard library for indexing and the result of size() and prevent many signed-unsigned comparisons. The default is std::ptrdiff_t, but this will change to std::size_t as in C++20 in the near future.

Disable exceptions

-Dspan_CONFIG_NO_EXCEPTIONS=0
Define this to 1 if you want to compile without exceptions. If not defined, the header tries and detect if exceptions have been disabled (e.g. via -fno-exceptions). Disabling exceptions will force contract violation to use termination, see contract violation macros. Default is undefined.

Provide construction using with_container_t

-Dspan_FEATURE_WITH_CONTAINER=0
Define this to 1 to enable constructing a span using with_container_t. Note that span_FEATURE_WITH_CONTAINER takes precedence over span_FEATURE_WITH_CONTAINER_TO_STD. Default is undefined.

-Dspan_FEATURE_WITH_CONTAINER_TO_STD=n
Define this to the highest C++ language version for which to enable constructing a span using with_container_t, like 98, 03, 11, 14, 17, 20. You can use 99 for inclusion with any standard, but prefer to use span_FEATURE_WITH_CONTAINER for this. Note that span_FEATURE_WITH_CONTAINER takes precedence over span_FEATURE_WITH_CONTAINER_TO_STD. Default is undefined.

Provide construction from std::array with const data

-Dspan_FEATURE_CONSTRUCTION_FROM_STDARRAY_ELEMENT_TYPE=0
Define this to 1 to enable constructing a span from a std::array with const data. Default is undefined.

Provide operator() member function

-Dspan_FEATURE_MEMBER_CALL_OPERATOR=0
Define this to 1 to provide member function operator()for element access. It is equivalent to operator[] and has been marked [[deprecated]]. Its main purpose is to provide a migration path. Default is undefined.

Provide at() member function

-Dspan_FEATURE_MEMBER_AT=0
Define this to 1 to provide member function at(). Define this to 2 to include index and size in message of std::out_of_range exception. Default is undefined.

Provide back() and front() member functions

-Dspan_FEATURE_MEMBER_BACK_FRONT=1 (on since v0.5.0)
Define this to 0 to omit member functions back() and front(). Default is undefined.

Provide swap() member function

-Dspan_FEATURE_MEMBER_SWAP=0
Define this to 1 to provide member function swap(). Default is undefined.

Provide operator==() and other comparison functions

-Dspan_FEATURE_COMPARISON=1
Define this to 0 to omit the comparison functions to compare the content of two spans. C++20's span will not provide comparison and span lite will omit comparison at default in the near future. Default is undefined.

Provide same() function

-Dspan_FEATURE_SAME=0
Define this to 1 to provide function same() to test if two spans refer as identical spans to the same data via the same type. If same() is enabled, operator==() incorporates it in its comparison. Default is undefined.

Provide first(), last() and subspan() functions

-Dspan_FEATURE_NON_MEMBER_FIRST_LAST_SUB=0
Define this to 1 to provide functions first(), last() and subspan(). This implies span_FEATURE_MAKE_SPAN to provide functions make_span() that are required for this feature. Default is undefined.

Provide make_span() functions

-Dspan_FEATURE_MAKE_SPAN=0
Define this to 1 to provide creator functions nonstd::make_span(). This feature is implied by using span_FEATURE_NON_MEMBER_FIRST_LAST_SUB=1. Note that span_FEATURE_MAKE_SPAN takes precedence over span_FEATURE_MAKE_SPAN_TO_STD. Default is undefined.

-Dspan_FEATURE_MAKE_SPAN_TO_STD=n
Define this to the highest C++ language version for which to provide creator functions nonstd::make_span(), like 98, 03, 11, 14, 17, 20. You can use 99 for inclusion with any standard, but prefer to use span_FEATURE_MAKE_SPAN for this. Note that span_FEATURE_MAKE_SPAN takes precedence over span_FEATURE_MAKE_SPAN_TO_STD. Default is undefined.

Provide byte_span() functions

-Dspan_FEATURE_BYTE_SPAN=0
Define this to 1 to provide creator functions nonstd::byte_span(). Default is undefined.

Contract violation response macros

span-lite provides contract violation response control as suggested in proposal N4415.

-Dspan_CONFIG_CONTRACT_LEVEL_ON (default)
Define this macro to include both span_EXPECTS and span_ENSURES in the code. This is the default case.

-Dspan_CONFIG_CONTRACT_LEVEL_OFF
Define this macro to exclude both span_EXPECTS and span_ENSURES from the code.

-Dspan_CONFIG_CONTRACT_LEVEL_EXPECTS_ONLY
Define this macro to include span_EXPECTS in the code and exclude span_ENSURES from the code.

-Dspan_CONFIG_CONTRACT_LEVEL_ENSURES_ONLY
Define this macro to exclude span_EXPECTS from the code and include span_ENSURES in the code.

-Dspan_CONFIG_CONTRACT_VIOLATION_TERMINATES (default)
Define this macro to call std::terminate() on a contract violation in span_EXPECTS, span_ENSURES. This is the default case.

-Dspan_CONFIG_CONTRACT_VIOLATION_THROWS
Define this macro to throw an exception of implementation-defined type that is derived from std::runtime_exception instead of calling std::terminate() on a contract violation in span_EXPECTS and span_ENSURES. See also disable exceptions.

Reported to work with

The table below mentions the compiler versions span lite is reported to work with.

OS Compiler Where Versions
GNU/Linux Clang/LLVM Travis 3.5.0, 3.6.2, 3.7.1, 3.8.0, 3.9.1, 4.0.1
  GCC Travis 5.5.0, 6.4.0, 7.3.0
OS X ? Local ?
Windows Clang/LLVM Local 6.0.0
  GCC Local 7.2.0
  Visual C++
(Visual Studio)
Local 8 (2005), 10 (2010), 11 (2012),
12 (2013), 14 (2015), 15 (2017)
  Visual C++
(Visual Studio)
AppVeyor 10 (2010), 11 (2012),
12 (2013), 14 (2015), 15 (2017)

Building the tests

To build the tests you need:

The lest test framework is included in the test folder.

The following steps assume that the span lite source code has been cloned into a directory named ./span-lite.

  1. Create a directory for the build outputs.

     cd ./span-lite
     md build && cd build
    
  2. Configure CMake to use the compiler of your choice (run cmake --help for a list).

     cmake -G "Unix Makefiles" -DSPAN_LITE_OPT_BUILD_TESTS=ON ..
    
  3. Optional. You can control above configuration through the following options:

    -DSPAN_LITE_OPT_BUILD_TESTS=ON: build the tests for span, default off
    -DSPAN_LITE_OPT_BUILD_EXAMPLES=OFF: build the examples, default off

  4. Build the test suite.

     cmake --build .
    
  5. Run the test suite.

     ctest -V
    

All tests should pass, indicating your platform is supported and you are ready to use span lite.

Other implementations of span

Notes and references

Interface and specification

Presentations

  • TBD

Proposals

Appendix

A.1 Compile-time information

The version of span lite is available via tag [.version]. The following tags are available for information on the compiler and on the C++ standard library used: [.compiler], [.stdc++], [.stdlanguage] and [.stdlibrary].

A.2 Span lite test specification

span<>: Terminates construction from a nullptr and a non-zero size (C++11)
span<>: Terminates construction from two pointers in the wrong order
span<>: Terminates construction from a null pointer and a non-zero size
span<>: Terminates creation of a sub span of the first n elements for n exceeding the span
span<>: Terminates creation of a sub span of the last n elements for n exceeding the span
span<>: Terminates creation of a sub span outside the span
span<>: Terminates access outside the span
span<>: Throws  on access outside the span via at(): std::out_of_range [span_FEATURE_MEMBER_AT>0][span_CONFIG_NO_EXCEPTIONS=0]
span<>: Termination throws std::logic_error-derived exception [span_CONFIG_CONTRACT_VIOLATION_THROWS=1]
span<>: Allows to default-construct
span<>: Allows to construct from a nullptr and a zero size (C++11)
span<>: Allows to construct from two pointers
span<>: Allows to construct from two pointers to const
span<>: Allows to construct from a non-null pointer and a size
span<>: Allows to construct from a non-null pointer to const and a size
span<>: Allows to construct from a temporary pointer and a size
span<>: Allows to construct from a temporary pointer to const and a size
span<>: Allows to construct from any pointer and a zero size
span<>: Allows to construct from a C-array
span<>: Allows to construct from a const C-array
span<>: Allows to construct from a C-array with size via decay to pointer (potentially dangerous)
span<>: Allows to construct from a const C-array with size via decay to pointer (potentially dangerous)
span<>: Allows to construct from a std::array<> (C++11)
span<>: Allows to construct from a std::array<> with const data (C++11, span_FEATURE_CONSTR..._ELEMENT_TYPE=1)
span<>: Allows to construct from a container (std::vector<>)
span<>: Allows to tag-construct from a container (std::vector<>)
span<>: Allows to tag-construct from a const container (std::vector<>)
span<>: Allows to copy-construct from another span of the same type
span<>: Allows to copy-construct from another span of a compatible type
span<>: Allows to copy-construct from a temporary span of the same type (C++11)
span<>: Allows to copy-assign from another span of the same type
span<>: Allows to copy-assign from a temporary span of the same type (C++11)
span<>: Allows to create a sub span of the first n elements
span<>: Allows to create a sub span of the last n elements
span<>: Allows to create a sub span starting at a given offset
span<>: Allows to create a sub span starting at a given offset with a given length
span<>: Allows to observe an element via array indexing
span<>: Allows to observe an element via call indexing
span<>: Allows to observe an element via at() [span_FEATURE_MEMBER_AT>0]
span<>: Allows to observe an element via data()
span<>: Allows to observe the first element via front() [span_FEATURE_MEMBER_BACK_FRONT=1]
span<>: Allows to observe the last element via back() [span_FEATURE_MEMBER_BACK_FRONT=1]
span<>: Allows to change an element via array indexing
span<>: Allows to change an element via call indexing
span<>: Allows to change an element via at() [span_FEATURE_MEMBER_AT>0]
span<>: Allows to change an element via data()
span<>: Allows to change the first element via front() [span_FEATURE_MEMBER_BACK_FRONT=1]
span<>: Allows to change the last element via back() [span_FEATURE_MEMBER_BACK_FRONT=1]
span<>: Allows to swap with another span [span_FEATURE_MEMBER_SWAP=1]
span<>: Allows forward iteration
span<>: Allows const forward iteration
span<>: Allows reverse iteration
span<>: Allows const reverse iteration
span<>: Allows to identify if a span is the same as another span [span_FEATURE_SAME=1]
span<>: Allows to compare equal to another span of the same type [span_FEATURE_COMPARISON=1]
span<>: Allows to compare unequal to another span of the same type [span_FEATURE_COMPARISON=1]
span<>: Allows to compare less than another span of the same type [span_FEATURE_COMPARISON=1]
span<>: Allows to compare less than or equal to another span of the same type [span_FEATURE_COMPARISON=1]
span<>: Allows to compare greater than another span of the same type [span_FEATURE_COMPARISON=1]
span<>: Allows to compare greater than or equal to another span of the same type [span_FEATURE_COMPARISON=1]
span<>: Allows to compare to another span of the same type and different cv-ness [span_FEATURE_SAME=0]
span<>: Allows to compare empty spans as equal [span_FEATURE_COMPARISON=1]
span<>: Allows to test for empty span via empty(), empty case
span<>: Allows to test for empty span via empty(), non-empty case
span<>: Allows to obtain the number of elements via size()
span<>: Allows to obtain the number of elements via ssize()
span<>: Allows to obtain the number of bytes via size_bytes()
span<>: Allows to view the elements as read-only bytes
span<>: Allows to view and change the elements as writable bytes
make_span() [span_FEATURE_MAKE_SPAN_TO_STD=99]
make_span(): Allows building from two pointers
make_span(): Allows building from two const pointers
make_span(): Allows building from a non-null pointer and a size
make_span(): Allows building from a non-null const pointer and a size
make_span(): Allows building from a C-array
make_span(): Allows building from a const C-array
make_span(): Allows building from a std::array<> (C++11)
make_span(): Allows building from a const std::array<> (C++11)
make_span(): Allows building from a container (std::vector<>)
make_span(): Allows building from a const container (std::vector<>)
make_span(): Allows building from a container (with_container_t, std::vector<>)
make_span(): Allows building from a const container (with_container_t, std::vector<>)
byte_span() [span_FEATURE_BYTE_SPAN=1]
byte_span(): Allows building a span of std::byte from a single object (C++17, byte-lite)
byte_span(): Allows building a span of const std::byte from a single const object (C++17, byte-lite)
first(), last(), subspan() [span_FEATURE_NON_MEMBER_FIRST_LAST_SUB=1]
first(): Allows to create a sub span of the first n elements
last(): Allows to create a sub span of the last n elements
subspan(): Allows to create a sub span starting at a given offset
size(): Allows to obtain the number of elements via size()
ssize(): Allows to obtain the number of elements via ssize()
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