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static_assert

 

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The latest version of this topic can be found at static_assert.

Tests a software assertion at compile time. If the specified constant expression is false, the compiler displays the specified message and the compilation fails with error C2338; otherwise, the declaration has no effect.

static_assert(   
    constant-expression,   
    string-literal   
);  

Parameters

ParameterDescription
constant-expressionAn integral constant expression that can be converted to a Boolean.

If the evaluated expression is zero (false), the string-literal parameter is displayed and the compilation fails with an error. If the expression is nonzero (true), the static_assert declaration has no effect.
string-literalAn message that is displayed if the constant-expression parameter is zero. The message is a string of characters in the base character set of the compiler; that is, not multibyte or wide characters.

The constant-expression parameter of a static_assert declaration represents a software assertion. A software assertion specifies a condition that you expect to be true at a particular point in your program. If the condition is true, the static_assert declaration has no effect. If the condition is false, the assertion fails, the compiler displays the message in string-literal parameter, and the compilation fails with an error.

The static_assert declaration tests a software assertion at compile time. In contrast, the assert Macro, _assert, _wassert macro tests a software assertion at run time and incurs a run time cost in space or time. The static_assert declaration is especially useful for debugging templates because template arguments can be included in the constant-expression parameter.

The compiler examines the static_assert declaration for syntax errors when the declaration is encountered. The compiler evaluates the constant-expression parameter immediately if it does not depend on a template parameter. Otherwise, the compiler evaluates the constant-expression parameter when the template is instantiated. Consequently, the compiler might issue a diagnostic message once when the declaration is encountered, and again when the template is instantiated.

You can use the static_assert keyword at namespace, class, or block scope. (The static_assert keyword is technically a declaration, even though it does not introduce new name into your program, because it can be used at namespace scope.)

In the following example, the static_assert declaration has namespace scope. Because the compiler knows the size of type void *, the expression is evaluated immediately.

static_assert(sizeof(void *) == 4, "64-bit code generation is not supported.");  

In the following example, the static_assert declaration has class scope. The static_assert verifies that a template parameter is a plain old data (POD) type. The compiler examines the static_assert declaration when it is declared, but does not evaluate the constant-expression parameter until the basic_string class template is instantiated in main().

#include <type_traits>  
#include <iosfwd>  
namespace std {  
template <class CharT, class Traits = std::char_traits<CharT> >  
class basic_string {  
    static_assert(tr1::is_pod<CharT>::value,  
                  "Template argument CharT must be a POD type in class template basic_string");  
    // ...  
    };  
}  
struct NonPOD {  
    NonPOD(const NonPOD &) {}  
    virtual ~NonPOD() {}  
};  
int main()  
{  
    std::basic_string<char> bs;  
}  

In the following example, the static_assert declaration has block scope. The static_assert verifies that the size of the VMPage structure is equal to the virtual memory pagesize of the system.

#include <sys/param.h> // defines PAGESIZE  
class VMMClient {  
public:  
    struct VMPage { // ...   
           };  
    int check_pagesize() {  
    static_assert(sizeof(VMPage) == PAGESIZE,  
        "Struct VMPage must be the same size as a system virtual memory page.");  
    // ...  
    }  
// ...  
};  

Assertion and User-Supplied Messages (C++)
#error Directive (C/C++)
assert Macro, _assert, _wassert
Templates
ASCII Character Set
Declarations

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