New paper: N3740, A Proposal for the World’s Dumbest Smart Pointer, v2 -- Walter Brown

A new WG21 paper is available. A copy is linked below, and the paper will also appear in the next normal WG21 mailing. If you are not a committee member, please use the comments section below or the std-proposals forum for public discussion.

Document number: N3740

Date: 2013-08-30

A Proposal for the World’s Dumbest Smart Pointer, v2

by Walter Brown


We present the following code as a preliminary specification of intent in order to serve as a
basis for technical discussion. Designed as a pointer that takes no formal notice of its pointee’s
lifetime, this not-very-smart pointer template is intended as a replacement for near-trivial uses of
bare/native/raw/built-in/dumb C++ pointers, especially when used to communicate with (say)
legacy code that traffics in such pointers. It is, by design, exempt (hence its working name) from
any role in managing any pointee, and is thus freely copyable independent of and without regard
for its pointee.

We have found that such a template provides us a standard vocabulary to denote non-owning
pointers, with no need for further comment or other documentation to describe the near-vacuous
semantics involved...

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