Fundamentals of Generic Programming

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Selected Papers from the International Seminar on Generic Programming, page 1--11. London, UK, UK, Springer-Verlag, (2000)


Generic programming depends on the decomposition of programs into components which may be developed separately and combined arbitrarily, subject only to well-defined interfaces. Among the interfaces of interest, indeed the most pervasively and unconsciously used, are the fundamental operators common to all C++ built-in types, as extended to user-defined types; e.g., copy constructors, assignment, and equality. We investigate the relations which must hold among these operators to preserve consistency with their semantics for the built-in types and with the expectations of programmers. We can produce an axiomatization of these operators which yields the required consistency with built-in types, matches the intuitive expectations of programmers, and also reflects our underlying mathematical expectations.



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