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<pre class=metadata>
Markup Shorthands: markdown yes
Group: WG21
Status: P
Shortname: P1279
Revision: 0
Audience: SG14, LEWG
Title: std::breakpoint
Editor: Isabella Muerte,
Date: 2018-10-05
Abstract: A builtin standard breakpoint function would aid in software
Abstract: development.
!Current Render: <a href="">P1279</a>
!Current Source: <a href="">slurps-mad-rips/papers/proposals/</a>
!Implementation: <a href="">slurps-mad-rips/breakpoint</a>
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# Revision History # {#changelog}
## Revision 0 ## {#r0}
Initial Release 🎉
# Motivation # {#motivation}
Setting breakpoints inside of a debugger can be difficult and confusing for
newcomers to C++. Rather than having to learn C++, they have to learn a special
syntax just to place a breakpoint in the exact spot they want, or rely on the
interface of an IDE. At the end of the day, a simple programmer just wants to
place a breakpoint so that their program stops when under the watchful eye of a
This paper proposes a new function, `std::breakpoint`, that causes a program to
stop or "break" execution when it is being debugged.
# Design # {#design}
The goal of the `std::breakpoint` function is to "break" when being debugged
but to act as though it is a no-op when it is executing normally. This might
seem difficult in practice, but nearly every platform and various debuggers
supports something to this effect. However, some platforms have caveats that
make implementing this "break when being debugged" behavior hard to implement
The `std::breakpoint` function is intended to go into the `<utility>` header.
# FAQ # {#faq}
## Couldn't this be implemented via contracts? ## {#faq-contracts}
Possibly. However, a `std::breakpoint` function gives more fine grained control
than "break on all contract violations".
## How does this work with the upcoming stacktrace API? ## {#faq-stacktrace}
It is not intended to interoperate with the stacktrace API at this time. Both
the stacktrace API and `std::breakpoint` are essentially orthogonal in their
focus and use. Whereas the former is for getting more information in the event
of an error, `std::breakpoint` is intended to help programmers inspect the
current state of a program at a breakpoint.
# Wording # {#wording}
Wording is relative to [[N4762]]
<xmp highlight="c++">
namespace std {
void breakpoint () noexcept;
When this function is executed, it first must perform an implementation
defined check to see if the program is currently running under a debugger.
If it is, the program's execution is temporarily halted and execution is
handed to the debugger until such a time as:
* the program is terminated by the debugger or,
* the debugger hands execution back to the program.
You can’t perform that action at this time.