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Showing posts from July, 2011

Compile-time regex matcher using constexpr

With my growing constexpr fascination, I thought of using it for something that would be really hard using template meta-programs. How about implementing a compile-time regular expression matcher? Fortunately, a simple regular expression matcher has already been written by Rob Pike. I just rewrote it using constexpr: single return statement in functions, no modifications to the parameters, abundant ternery operators, and recursion. Here we go...

constexpr int match_c(const char *regexp, const char *text);
constexpr int matchhere_c(const char *regexp, const char *text);
constexpr int matchstar_c(int c, const char *regexp, const char *text);
constexpr int matchend_c(const char * regexp, const char * text);

constexpr int matchend_c(const char * regexp, const char * text)
return matchhere_c(regexp, text) ? 1 :
(*text == '\0') ? 0 : matchend_c(regexp, text+1);

constexpr int match_c(const char *regexp, const char *text)
return (regexp[0] == '^') ? matchhere_c(regexp+…

Want speed? Use constexpr meta-programming!

It's official: C++11 has two meta-programming languages embedded in it! One is based on templates and other one using constexpr. Templates have been extensively used for meta-programming in C++03. C++11 now gives you one more option of writing compile-time meta-programs using constexpr. The capabilities differ, however.

The meta-programming language that uses templates was discovered accidently and since then countless techniques have been developed. It is a pure functional language which allows you to manipulate compile-time integral literals and types but not floating point literals. Most people find the syntax of template meta-programming quite abominable because meta-functions must be implemented as structures and nested typedefs. Compile-time performance is also a pain point for this language feature.

The generalized constant expressions (constexpr for short) feature allows C++11 compiler to peek into the implementation of a function (even classes) and perform optimizations i…