meta is a simple C++ library that provide simple helper functions to ease manipulation of lists of types.
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README.rst

meta

meta is a simple C++ library that provide simple helper functions to ease manipulation of lists of types. In Steinwurf we use template mixin-layers to build custom erasure correcting codecs (such as Reed-Solomon and Random Linear Network Codes). meta is used to, at compile time, customize the behavior of the different codecs.

http://buildbot.steinwurf.dk/svgstatus?project=meta

Rant

There exists many other libraries with similar capabilities such as Boost MPL, Eric Niebler's meta library, Fatal and Turbo just to name a few. Most of these libraries provide extensive meta programming support. However, since we only needed limited functionality and MSVC (the Microsoft Visual Studio Compiler) support we decided to implement the functionality ourselves. In the above list only Boost.MPL is supported by MSVC because of missing C++11 constexpr support, yeah it sucks.

Usage

The meta::typelist struct is the main component of the library. It currently provides a minimal API for e.g. appending and removing types from the list (since that was what we needed). If you have additional ideas to how the library can be extended feel free to open an issue or submit pull-requests.

Header-only

The library itself is header-only so essentially to use it you just have to clone the repository and setup the right include paths in the project where you would like to use it.

The library uses C++11 features such as variadic templates, so you need a relatively recent compiler to use it.

Quick Overview

The following examples give a quick overview of the functionality provided by the library.

Create a meta::typelist

Example:

#include <meta/typelist.hpp>

int main()
{
    using types = meta::typelist<double,float>;

    static_assert(std::is_same<types,
        meta::typelist<double,float>>::value, "");
}

The above creates a meta::typelist containing two types double and float.

Appending types

Example:

#include <meta/typelist.hpp>

int main()
{
    using types = meta::typelist<>::append<double>::append<float>;

    static_assert(std::is_same<types,
        meta::typelist<double,float>>::value, "");
}

As with our previous example the above creates a meta::typelist containing two types double and float. We can also append types to an existing meta::typelist.

#include <meta/typelist.hpp>

int main()
{
    using types = meta::typelist<double,float>;
    using result = types::append<int>;

    static_assert(std::is_same<result,
         meta::typelist<double,float,int>>::value, "");
}

It is also possible to pass multiple types to meta::typelist::append

#include <meta/typelist.hpp>

int main()
{
    using types = meta::typelist<bool>::append<double,float>;

    static_assert(std::is_same<types,
        meta::typelist<bool,double,float>>::value, "");
}

Finding types

A common operation to perform is use the meta::typelist::find meta function to search the list for a specific type.

The find meta function has the following signature:

template
<
    template <class> class Predicate,
    class NotFound = not_found
>
using find = typename find<Predicate, NotFound, Types...>::type;

The Predicate is what is known as a template template class (which sounds crazy but just means that it is itself a template class). For each type T in the meta::typelist we will instantiate Predicate<T>::value and if value is a non-zero value we will return the type T. Otherwise we will do the same for the next type in the list. If no type is found we return the type specified by the NotFound template argument (defaults to meta::not_found).

Example:

#include <meta/typelist.hpp>

#include <vector>

int main()
{
    using types = meta::typelist<std::vector<int>, int, double>;

    using result = types::find<std::is_integral>;

    static_assert(std::is_same<result, int>::value, "");
}

Visiting types

The ability to visit the types stored in a meta::typelist allows us to customize run-time behavior of our programs depending on the types stored in the meta::typelist.

Example:

#include <meta/typelist.hpp>

#include <typeinfo>
#include <iostream>
#include <vector>

struct print_types
{
    template<class T>
    void operator()(T)
    {
        std::cout << typeid(T).name() << std::endl;
    }
};

int main()
{
    using types = meta::typelist<std::vector<int>, int, double>;

    types::visit(print_types());
}

Removing types

In addition to appending types to the meta::typelist we can also remove types. The signature of remove is:

template<template <class> class Predicate>
using remove = typename remove<Predicate, Types...>::type;

For all types T contained in the meta::typelist we instantiate Predicate<T>::value if value is true then the resulting meta::typelist will not contain T.

Example:

#include <meta/typelist.hpp>

#include <vector>

int main()
{
    using types = meta::typelist<std::vector<int>, int, double>;

    using result = types::remove<std::is_integral>;

    static_assert(std::is_same<result,
        meta::typelist<std::vector<int>, double>>::value, "");
}

Unit testing

The unit tests for the stub library are located in the test/src folder.

We use the Google Unit Testing Framework (gtest) to drive the unit tests. To build the tests run:

python waf configure
python waf

Depending on the platform you should see a test binary called meta_tests in (extension also depends on operating system e.g. .exe for windows):

build/platform/test/

Where platform is typically is either linux, win32 or darwin depending on your operating system.

License

The meta library is released under the BSD license see the LICENSE.rst file