Proper digit separators in C++

Have you ever hoped that C++ would have digit separators? That you wouldn’t have to strain your eyes when reading 2147483647 (is it std::numeric_limits<int32_t>::max(), or is it just similar)? That you wouldn’t have to count the zeros 5 times when typing 1000000000?

Well, the C++ Standards Committee doesn’t have your back. Oh, sure, they have introduced a digit separator, – , but it’s completely unusable in production code! Here’s why.

Code doodles #5 – quite surprising parse

I came upon a similar piece of code during an IRC discussion. While I am certain that some may consider this example trivial, I admit that the correct answer eluded me even after I verified the result with the compiler – it wasn’t until I checked the standard that it became clear.

Consider the following class:

struct foo
        cout << __PRETTY_FUNCTION__ << endl;
        cout << __PRETTY_FUNCTION__ << endl;

And now, consider the following code:

int global;
int main()

Would you care to guess what will be printed?

You don’t need a stateful deleter in your unique_ptr (usually)

With the increasing probability of your average project using at least C++11, std::unique_ptr is one of the most popular solutions1 to dynamically managing memory in C++.

It usually goes like this: if your object can’t be a scoped object, that is one with automatic lifetime (colloquially: on the stack, or a class’s member), wrap it in std::unique_ptr. This will ensure it’s freed when it finally goes out of scope. Herb Sutter goes more in-depth into this topic in his last C++Con talk:

Herb Sutter: Leak-Freedom in C++… By Default.

This advice is sound and deserves being spread.