Extra Clang Tools 3.3 documentation

Replace-AutoPtr Transform

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Replace-AutoPtr Transform

The Replace-AutoPtr Transform replaces the uses of the deprecated class std::auto_ptr by std::unique_ptr (introduced in C++11). The transfer of ownership, done by the copy-constructor and the assignment operator, is changed to match std::unique_ptr usage by using explicit calls to std::move(). The transform is enabled with the -replace-auto_ptr option of clang-modernize.

Migration example:

-void take_ownership_fn(std::auto_ptr<int> int_ptr);
+void take_ownership_fn(std::unique_ptr<int> int_ptr);

 void f(int x) {
-  std::auto_ptr<int> a(new int(x));
-  std::auto_ptr<int> b;
+  std::unique_ptr<int> a(new int(x));
+  std::unique_ptr<int> b;

-  b = a;
-  take_ownership_fn(b);
+  b = std::move(a);
+  take_ownership_fn(std::move(b));

Known Limitations

  • If headers modification is not activated or if a header is not allowed to be changed this transform will produce broken code (compilation error), where the the headers’ code will stay unchanged while the code using them will be changed.

  • Client code that declares a reference to an std::auto_ptr coming from code that can’t be migrated (such as a header coming from a 3rd party library) will produce a compilation error after migration. This is because the type of the reference will be changed to std::unique_ptr but the type returned by the library won’t change, binding a reference to std::unique_ptr from an std::auto_ptr. This pattern doesn’t make much sense and usually std::auto_ptr are stored by value (otherwise what is the point in using them instead of a reference or a pointer?).

     // <3rd-party header...>
     std::auto_ptr<int> get_value();
     const std::auto_ptr<int> & get_ref();
     // <calling code (with migration)...>
    -std::auto_ptr<int> a(get_value());
    +std::unique_ptr<int> a(get_value()); // ok, unique_ptr constructed from auto_ptr
    -const std::auto_ptr<int> & p = get_ptr();
    +const std::unique_ptr<int> & p = get_ptr(); // won't compile
  • Non-instantiated templates aren’t modified.

    template <typename X>
    void f() {
        std::auto_ptr<X> p;
    // only 'f<int>()' (or similar) will trigger the replacement

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