Feedback on designing the proposed std::error type

Document #: D2170R0
Date: 2020-05-13
Project: Programming Language C++
Audience: Library Evolution Group
Reply-to: Charles Salvia

1 Abstract

[P0709R4] proposes std::error as a mechanism for supporting deterministic static exceptions, as well as a more powerful successor to std::error_code. I’ve implemented the proposed std::error, including support for treating std::exception_ptr as a TriviallyRelocatable type that can be transported via an std::error object without performing an allocation. In this paper I provide feedback on the overall design of std::error, particularly with regard to how it might map to “legacy” error mechanisms such as dynamic exceptions and/or std::error_code, and also provide some discussion and rationale around design decisions and trade-offs I made while implementing std::error that differ from the current status_code based implementation proposed in [P1028R3].

This paper does not propose anything fundamentally different from [P0709R4], but merely explores certain design considerations and trade-offs that surface when implementing std::error and suggests what a minimal specification should probably contain based on actual implementation experience, while also discussing considerations that arise when attempting to map std::error to “legacy” error mechanisms such as dynamic exceptions and std::error_code. Finally, this paper is focused only on the design and implementation of the std::error type and how it maps to existing error facilities - this paper does not address the larger issue of deterministic static exceptions.

The implementation of std::error discussed here is available at:

Repos link:

All-in-one header-only link:

Example usage/godbolt link:

The implementation requires at least C++14. It has been tested on GCC 4.9.2 to GCC 10, Clang 4 thru Clang 10, and MSVC 19.14 thru 19.24.

2 Design constraints

2.1 Trivial Relocation

A key feature of the proposed std::error type is that an instance should be no larger than two pointers. An std::error therefore consists of a pointer-sized type-erased object, and a constant pointer to a domain instance. This is similar to std::error_code, where we have an integral type code along with a pointer to an std::error_category, except std::error contains a type-erased object that could potentially represent any arbitrarily rich data. It’s up to the error_domain object to decide how to statically cast the type-erased data to the appropriate type.

One important requirement of any type T that is to be type-erased and stored within an std::error is that T must be TriviallyRelocatable, meaning essentially that move-constructing an instance of T must be functionally equivalent to simply performing a bitwise copy and then replacing the moved-from instance with T{}. Both std::unique_ptr and std::shared_ptr could fit this requirement conceptually, as could std::exception_ptr.

An std::error object could then easily contain either an integral-type error code, or arbitrarily rich information passed in as a type-erased smart pointer which would be move-relocated into the pointer-sized storage contained in the std::error object. An std::exception_ptr, if implemented such that it is no larger than a raw pointer, could also be transported efficiently in an std::error.

However, being able to transport a type-erased smart pointer such as std::exception_ptr immediately brings up certain design decisions that need to be considered up-front. For example, as a type-erasing transport for arbitrary TriviallyRelocatable types, std::error must at the very least have access to a polymorphic destructor function that can invoke the destructor of the erased type. If we limit std::error itself to being TriviallyRelocatable with a deleted copy constructor, we do not need to provide any additional polymorphic functions to manage ownership of the erased type, apart from the destructor.

For example, in order to transport a unique_ptr in an std::error, we would move-relocate the unique_ptr instance into type-erased storage, and then simply bitwise-copy the type-erased storage an arbitrary number of times until the last move-constructed instance is destructed, at which point we’d need to call a polymorphic destructor that has knowledge of the erased type (implemented perhaps as a virtual function in the error_domain). We can set the internal error_domain pointer of a moved-from std::error instance to nullptr to disable destructors of moved-from error objects. This is how the status_code based implementation of std::error proposed in [P1028R3] is implemented. This design also requires that std::error itself is move-only.

2.2 Is std::error move-only?

Should std::error be required to be move-only? The original proposal [P0709R4] doesn’t explicitly say that std::error is move-only; rather, it only specifies that std::error should be trivially relocatable. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean std::error must be move-only. A generic copy constructor for some erased type T could be safely implemented by copy-constructing a temporary, and then move-relocating it into the destination storage. Regardless, the current status_code based implementation of std::error proposed in [P1028R3] is indeed move-only, but provides a clone() function for explicitly copying an error instance.

The implementation of std::error submitted here is both trivially-relocatable and copy-constructible. (Note that many trivially relocatable types are copy-constructible, but not trivially copy-constructible, such as std::shared_ptr.) Implementing a copy-constructible version of std::error requires that we call the copy-constructor of the type-erased object each time the std::error object itself is copied. This can be efficiently implemented by providing the error_domain instance with three function pointers - a copy constructor, move constructor, and destructor. (Again, the copy construction would need to be implemented in terms of a copy, followed by a move-relocate.) Error domains that use trivially-copyable types, such as enums or integral types, can set the function pointers to nullptr. Since error domains are expected to be constexpr, the call to the copy/move-constructor or destructor can be optimized out, and since statically thrown errors are essentially return-by-value, copying would be elided very often anyway.

Regardless, it remains an open question whether std::error should be copy-constructible. As a general replacement for both std::error_code as well as dynamic exceptions, it seems we should default to allowing std::error to support copy construction unless there is a very compelling reason not to. Both std::error_code and std::exception_ptr are copy-constructible, and there seems no reason to limit std::error to being move-only, apart from the requirement that any type-erased object used with std::error would need to be trivially-relocatable and copy-constructible. This rules out std::unique_ptr, but allows std::exception_ptr.

As a general mechanism for conveniently transporting arbitrary data via a copy-constructible std::error, it would be nice to be able to easily store a type-erased reference counted smart pointer. Unfortunately, we cannot directly store an std::shared_ptr in the single-pointer-sized storage provided by std::error, since a std::shared_ptr implementation typically requires at least 2 pointers due to aliasing support [N2351]. Rather, we would need a simpler reference counting smart pointer type, perhaps using intrusive reference counting, so that it could fit into single-pointer-sized storage. (The implementation presented here includes a reference-counting intrusive smart pointer to demonstrate transporting arbitrary data via an std::error). Note that we don’t have the same problem with std::exception_ptr, which can be implemented as a move-relocatable type with single-pointer size, and in fact is single-pointer-size in mainstream implementations such as [GNU libstdc++].

3 Mapping “Legacy” Error Mechanisms to std::error

3.1 Mapping std::error_code to std::error

The original proposal [P0709R4] discusses mapping standard dynamic exception types to std::error, and also implies that std::errc enums will be inherited from <system_error> to represent a “generic” domain of errors. However, it doesn’t discuss mapping an arbitrary std::error_code to an std::error object. Presumably, in the interest of easing adoption of std::error, we would want any possible std::error_code to be convertible to an std::error.

We can efficiently convert std::error_code objects that use standard error categories to an std::error by simply storing ErrorCodeEnums in std::error storage and providing matching error_domain objects for each standard error_category. Perhaps we would have a generic_domain that represents error values using std::errc, exactly like std::generic_category() does now.

However, we cannot efficiently represent an arbitrary std::error_code object that may potentially have any arbitrary user-defined error_category. We need at least 2 pointers worth of storage to represent an arbitrary std::error_code - one for the code itself and the other for a pointer to the error_category. Since we only have one pointer worth of storage in an std::error, we’d need a heap allocation to map an arbitrary std::error_code to an std::error. The implementation submitted here provides matching error domains for standard categories (such as std::generic_category), and uses heap allocation managed by a reference counted pointer to store std::error_codes with custom categories in an std::error object.

Finally, an std::error_code may potentially store a zero-value ErrorCodeEnum to represent “not an error”, whereas an std::error always represents an error. If we want to provide mappings between std::error_code and std::error we essentially have two choices to handle “not an error” error codes. We can either consider it Undefined Behavior (in the same way that throwing a null std::exception_ptr is undefined behavior), or more preferably, we map it to a special error code/domain that represents an invalid error, such as errc::bad_error.

3.2 Mapping dynamic exceptions to std::error

The original proposal [P0709R4] discusses mapping standard dynamic exception types to std::error. Note that when we talk about mapping a dynamic exception to an std::error, we’re mostly talking about doing so in the context of a weak-equality (semantic-equivalence) comparison. An std::error can directly store an std::exception_ptr, so there’s no need to perform any “mapping” at all for the purposes of simply converting a dynamic exception to an std::error. However, we probably want to be able to use the == operator to perform a semantic comparison with an std::error against a set of generic enums such as std::errc.

In this context, it would be useful to map, for example, std::bad_alloc to std::errc::not_enough_memory, so that a dynamic exception converted to an std::error can be tested for weak-equality or semantic equivalence. The original proposal mentions the need to standardize these mappings.

It turns out that providing mappings from the set of standard C++ dynamic exceptions to the set of std::errc enums is not easy to do in a way that consistently results in meaningful error translations. At first glance it may seem promising: we can map std::invalid_argument to std::errc::invalid_argument of course, std::bad_alloc to std::errc::not_enough_memory, and std::domain_error to std::errc::argument_out_of_domain, to name a few obvious mappings.

The documentation for the status_code based implementation of std::error suggests the following mappings:

std::invalid_argument errc::invalid_argument
std::domain_error errc::argument_out_of_domain
std::length_error errc::argument_list_too_long
std::out_of_range errc::result_out_of_range
std::logic_error errc::invalid_argument
std::overflow_error errc::value_too_large
std::range_error errc::result_out_of_range
std::runtime_error errc::resource_unavailable_try_again
std::bad_alloc errc::not_enough_memory

The implementation submitted here suggests a slightly modified mapping. However, both mappings are incomplete, reductive, and contain some highly questionable translations such as std::runtime_errorerrc::resource_unavailable_try_again. Additionally, this only provides mappings for standard exceptions included under <stdexcept>. But how would we map something like std::regex_error, std::bad_cast or std::bad_variant_access? In the proposed mapping above, an std::regex_error, which inherits from std::runtime_error, would be mapped to errc::resource_unavailable_try_again, which conveys no useful semantic information about the original error and is probably misleading or confusing to anyone familiar with the POSIX error codes EAGAIN or EWOULDBLOCK.

3.3 POSIX != generic

The root of the problem here is that we are probably wrongly assuming that the std::errc enums really constitute a set of truly “generic” error codes. This faulty assumption is understandable since, after all, these error codes are lifted from POSIX and are designed to provide portability, which is why std::errc codes are used with std::generic_category in <system_error>. But the reality is the POSIX error codes that the std::errc enums map to were devised with the goal of defining a set of generic error codes that might usefully map to the sort of errors that an Operating System API might produce. (And not just any OS API really, but specifically a UNIX-flavored OS API.) As a set of generic system error codes, POSIX seems to have provided a useful set of mostly portable codes for <system_error> to adopt. But again these codes were lifted from Operating System API errors - not generic application errors. These codes include error conditions for circumstances that are completely beyond the scope of the current C++ standard, such as std::errc::broken_pipe and std::errc::inappropriate_io_control_operation.

Of course, the intention of <system_error> was never to provide a set of truly generic error codes - it was to provide a set of generic system error codes that could be portably communicated in standard C++. In that capacity, using the POSIX error codes for std::errc was a reasonable choice. But regardless, <system_error> is not meant to provide a set of “generic” application-level error conditions, and so this family of error codes is probably not suitable for mapping application-level errors, the very type of errors that standard C++ dynamic exceptions represent. A hypothetical set of error codes that represent truly generic application errors would look more like what we get in <stdexcept>: maybe something like generic_errc::runtime_error, generic_errc::out_of_range, generic_errc::size_error, etc. This is the same sort of “generic error” taxonomy found in typical standard exception libraries across many languages, such as Python’s builtin RuntimeError, OverflowError, IndexError, etc. A set of generic error codes mapping to C++ exceptions should probably look more like this and less like something that includes inappropriate_io_control_operation and bad_file_descriptor.

In fact, Boost.Python appears to have better luck mapping standard C++ exceptions to Python exceptions, since the error domain (generic application runtime errors) is essentially the same. But std::errc represents a different error domain - the error domain of a UNIX-derived OS API, with pipes, file descriptors and ioctl calls. To the extent that the concerns of an Operating System API overlap with the concerns of a user-level application (mostly within the domain of argument validation) we can find meaningful mappings from <system_error> to standard C++ exceptions. But beyond that it becomes a stretch, with very little semantic information conveyed by the error code.

While POSIX.1 attaches certain broad semantics to each error macro, the majority of these codes were clearly designed around common failures that may occur within a networking stack or file system, or through exhaustion of OS resources or incorrect user space usage of an OS API or service. Apart from the C++ Networking TS or Filesystem library, only a few codes out of the 80 or so codes defined in POSIX.1 are applicable to the same conceptual error domain as most standard C++ exceptions. These probably include EINVAL, ERANGE, EDOM, E2BIG, and ENOMEM. These alone are clearly insufficient to create meaningful mappings across all standard C++ exceptions. Note there is not even a POSIX code that clearly maps to “index out of bounds”: we’d have to settle for EINVAL which is reductive, or else abuse the intended meaning of ERANGE.

Since std::error is clearly meant as “one error type to rule them all” - as the eventual successor of both std::error_code and dynamic exceptions in general, it seems we clearly need something a lot broader than <system_error> to use as a family of “generic” error codes. The current status_code based implementation of std::error proposed in [P1028R3] reuses the std::errc codes (with one slight modification), and expects all error domains to be able to map errors to one of these “generic” codes. But for many error domains there simply isn’t anything useful in POSIX to map to. How again do we map an std::regex_error to a POSIX code? Do we just use errc::invalid_argument or something and give up on providing any meaningful mapping?

I would suggest two things: firstly, to review the idea that every possible std::error domain is to be expected to map to some “universal” set of generic error codes in the first place. I argue that this requirement is likely to be impractical for many error domains, and if enforced would simply lead to many useless error mappings that convey next to zero actual information about the semantics of the original error.

Secondly, if we do want to provide something like a set of “universal” generic error codes that any error domain could feasibly map to, and if we also want to have a set of error codes available that enables useful weak-equality comparisons with an std::error that stores an std::exception_ptr, we would probably want to define a new, more universal set of error code enums that are not specifically designed for Operating System API errors. This set of error codes should more closely map to the set of exceptions defined in <stdexcept> and other standard headers, and include codes for C++-specific error conditions such as an invalid dynamic_cast.

The approach submitted here (and used in the submitted implementation) is to begin by defining a set of error code enums specifically meant to represent all standard dynamic exceptions. Note that many standard exceptions are de-facto equivalent to an error code enum, in the sense that they convey no information other then their type and a static message. For example, std::bad_variant_access or std::bad_cast (or any other exception type that provides only a default constructor, copy constructor, and static what() message), convey no information beyond their type and the static message associated with their type. Thus they are representable as semantically equivalent error codes with zero loss of information. Other exception types (such as std::runtime_error) take a per-instance message string, and so cannot be represented as an error code without information loss. However, since std::error can store an std::exception_ptr which can convey the per-instance message, there is no problem here. Regardless, mapping all standard exceptions to a special set of dynamic exception error codes may be useful in bridging dynamic exceptions and static errors, especially with regard to weak-equality testing. These dynamic exception error code enums may look something like the following:

    enum class dynamic_exception_errc

This would specifically map dynamic exceptions to a set of error codes that could be usefully employed to test for weak equality. On top of this, I would also suggest providing a set of truly “generic” application level error code enums, perhaps using the enum class generic_errc. Ideally, std::errc would have been named std::posix_errc - however, again <system_error> was designed foremost within the context of the Operating System error domain, and was probably not initially conceived of with generic application level error codes in mind.

Defining a set of generic application level error codes is beyond the scope of this paper, and the submitted implementation does not even attempt this. However, a hypothetical set of generic error codes would probably look something like the above list of dynamic_exception error codes. As such, a better approach may simply be to get rid of the idea of a separate dynamic_exception_errc set of codes and just make these the generic codes. Domains that have more specific error-reporting requirements, such as std::regex_error could also implement separate error_domains.

4 The submitted std::error implementation

The submitted std::error implementation is not meant to represent a formal proposal, but to serve as a hopefully useful contribution and alternative reference implementation of std::error that can assist with design discussions going forward. It can also serve as an initial sketch of a specification for std::error and associated types. The submitted implementation supports all the requirements laid out in [P0709R4], namely:

  1. std::error always represents a failure
  2. sizeof(std::error) == sizeof(std::intptr_t) * 2
  3. It uses constexpr error_domain discriminants to implement polymorphic behavior
  4. It is able to represent all causes of failure within the C++ standard library
  5. It is type-erased, allocation-free, and trivially-relocatable
  6. It can be used in a header-only library (unlike std::error_category)
  7. It has a == operator that provides weak-equality comparison (semantic-equivalence)

The submitted implementation includes an opt-in is_trivially_relocatable trait that enables std::exception_ptr to be stored directly within an std::error without an additional allocation (provided the implementation of std::exception_ptr is only one pointer in size, such as the [GNU libstdc++] implementation shipped with GCC).

4.1 Differences with the status_code library implementation proposed in [P1028]

The submitted implementation differs with the current status_code based implementation proposed in [P1028R3] as follows:

  1. This implementation is a stand-alone implementation of std::error - it does not implement any larger status code or error code library
  2. This implementation makes std::error copy-constructible instead of move-only
  3. This implementation does not require all error domains to be able to map errors to a universal “generic” error code
  4. For the purpose of providing error code enums used for weak-equality comparisons with std::error objects transporting a thrown dynamic exception, this implementation defines a new dynamic_exception_errc enum class. (It also supports semantic comparison with std::errc such that, e.g. a thrown std::invalid_argument will compare semantically equivalent to an std::errc::invalid_argument, but for the reasons discussed above I consider std:errc to be inadequate for serving as a set of universal generic error codes.)
  5. Error domain ID’s are 128-bit integers instead of 64-bit. With 64-bit, the chance of a collision approaches 50% when you reach about ~4 billion randomly generated error domain IDs. While it’s obviously absurdly unlikely any single application will ever have that many error domains, consider a future where distributed applications transmit serialized std::error objects over the wire. In this case domain IDs should be globally unique, so 128-bit is probably more appropriate.

With regard to the weak-equality comparison algorithm, this implementation submits a simpler algorithm than the algorithm implemented in [P1028R3]. The algorithm implemented in [P1028R3] is as follows:

Given: error E1 with error_domain D1, and error E2 with error_domain D2

If both D1 and D2 are non-null:
   If D1.WeakEqualityCompare(E1, E2): return true
   Else If D2.WeakEqualityCompare(E2, E1): return true
      Convert E2 to GenericCode G2
      If D1.WeakEqualityCompare(E1, G2): return true

      Convert E1 to GenericCode G1
      If D2.WeakEqualityCompare(E2, G1): return true

return true if both D1 and D2 are null

Note this algorithm requires error domains to implement conversion from some arbitrary error type to a universal set of “generic” errors (specified in [P1028R3] as identical to the POSIX error codes defined in <system_error>). The implementation submitted here does not require that all error types must be representable by a single set of generic codes. I have argued that this is very likely impractical for certain error domains, and if enforced would merely lead to many useless mappings to “generic” codes that convey close to zero information about the semantics of the original error.

Additionally, the implementation submitted here does not permit an error object to have a nullptr for an error_domain. In [P1028R3], error objects are move-only and therefore a “moved-from” error has a null domain pointer. However, error objects in this implementation are copy-constructible; errors that transport non-trivially-copyable or non-trivially-movable types will provide polymorphic move and copy constructors. It is up to the domain-specific move constructor to decide how to represent a “moved-from” type-erased error value internally. Therefore, there is no reason to allow an error object to contain a null domain pointer.

With null domain pointers disallowed, and without the requirement that all error domains provide a mapping to a set of universal generic error codes, the weak-equality comparison algorithm implemented here is simply:

Given: error E1 with error_domain D1, and error E2 with error_domain D2

If D1.WeakEqualityCompare(E1, E2): return true
Else If D2.WeakEqualityCompare(E2, E1): return true
return false

4.2 A minimal sketch of an std::error specification

The most significant types specified here are the error type itself, along with the error_domain abstract base type:

class error_domain
   constexpr error_domain_id id() const noexcept;

   virtual string_ref name() const noexcept = 0;
   virtual bool equivalent(const error& lhs, const error& rhs) const noexcept = 0;
   virtual string_ref message(const error&) const noexcept = 0;
   virtual void throw_exception(const error& e) const;

   constexpr explicit error_domain(error_domain_id id) noexcept;

   constexpr error_domain(error_domain_id id, error_resource_management erm) noexcept;

   error_domain(const error_domain&) = default;
   error_domain(error_domain&&) = default;
   error_domain& operator = (const error_domain&) = default;
   error_domain& operator = (error_domain&&) = default;
   ~error_domain() = default;

constexpr bool operator == (const error_domain& lhs, const error_domain& rhs) noexcept;
constexpr bool operator != (const error_domain& lhs, const error_domain& rhs) noexcept;

// Exposition only
template <class T>
concept TypeErasable = is_trivially_relocatable_v<T> && (sizeof(T) <= sizeof(std::intptr_t));

class error
   constexpr error() noexcept;
   constexpr error(const error& e);
   constexpr error(error&& e);

   template <class T> requires TypeErasable<T>
   constexpr error(const error_value<T>& v, const error_domain& d) noexcept(
      std::is_nothrow_copy_constructible_v<T> && std::is_nothrow_move_constructible_v<T>

   template <class T> requires TypeErasable<T>
   constexpr error(error_value<T>&& v, const error_domain& d) noexcept(

   constexpr error(error_value<> v, const error_domain& d) noexcept;

   template <class A, class... Args>
      requires /* make_error((A&&)a, (Args&&)args...) via ADL returns an error object */
   constexpr error(A&& a, Args&&... args) noexcept(/* unspecified */);

   error& operator = (const error& e);
   error& operator = (error&& e) noexcept;

   const error_domain& domain() const noexcept;

   string_ref message() const noexcept;

   [[noreturn]] void throw_exception() const;

bool operator == (const error& lhs, const error& rhs) noexcept;
bool operator != (const error& lhs, const error& rhs) noexcept;

The class template error_value serves as a mechanism for constructing an error object from a TypeErasable object and an error_domain. In practice this class would likely only be used by error_domain implementors.

// Transports a type-erasable object of type T
template <class T = void>
class error_value
   using value_type = T;

   constexpr error_value(const T& v) noexcept(

   constexpr error_value(T&& v) noexcept(

   constexpr const T& value() const & noexcept;
   constexpr T& value() & noexcept;
   constexpr const T&& value() const && noexcept;
   constexpr T&& value() && noexcept;

// Type-erasing specialization: type erases and transports a type-erased object
template <>
class error_value<void>
   template <class T> requires TypeErasable<std::remove_cvref_t<T>>
   constexpr error_value(T&& v) noexcept(/* unspecified */);

   template <class T> requires TypeErasable<T>
   constexpr error_value(const error_value<T>& v) noexcept(/* unspecified */);

   template <class T> requires TypeErasable<T>
   constexpr error_value(error_value<T>&& v) noexcept(/* unspecified */)

Additionally, an arbitrary type can be made implicitly convertible to an error via the make_error ADL-based customization point function.

The following free functions are provided for extracting the type-erased object from an std::error instance. This function is efficient but unsafe, as no type-checking is performed, so it should generally only be used directly by an error_domain object that has information about the erased type. These functions only participate in overload resolution if T is TypeErasable.

// Returns an instance of T that was directly copy-constructed from the internal error storage
template <class T>
constexpr T error_cast(const error& e) noexcept(/* unspecified */);

// Returns an instance of T that was directly move-constructed from the internal error storage
template <class T>
constexpr T error_cast(error&& e) noexcept(/* unspecified */);

Finally, an error_resource_management class template is used to provide an error_domain with a copy-constructor, move-constructor, and destructor for a type-erased object.

struct error_resource_management
   using copy_constructor = error_value<void>(*)(const error&);
   using move_constructor = error_value<void>(*)(error&&);
   using destructor = void(*)(error&);

   constexpr error_resource_management() noexcept;
   constexpr error_resource_management(copy_constructor, move_constructor, destructor) noexcept;

For convenience, a default error_resource_management variable template is provided which automatically generates copy/move constructors and a destructor for an arbitrary TypeErasable type T:

template <class T>
inline constexpr default_error_resource_management_t<T> default_error_resource_management {};

The default_error_resource_management_t class must behave as if it was implemented as follows:

namespace detail {

   struct default_error_constructors
      template <class T>
      static error_value<> copy_constructor(const error& e)
         T value = error_cast<T>(e);
         return error_value<>{std::move(value)};

      template <class T>
      static error_value<> move_constructor(error&& e)
         return error_value<>{error_cast<T>(std::move(e))};

      template <class T>
      static void destructor(error& e) noexcept
         unspecified_erased_error_ref value = /* unspecified: get reference to internal storage */

      template <class T>
      constexpr static error_resource_management::copy_constructor copy() noexcept
         return std::is_trivially_copy_constructible_v<T> ?
            nullptr : &copy_constructor<T>;

      template <class T>
      constexpr static error_resource_management::move_constructor move() noexcept
         return std::is_trivially_move_constructible_v<T> ?
            nullptr : &move_constructor<T>;

      template <class T>
      constexpr static error_resource_management::destructor destroy() noexcept
         return std::is_trivially_destructible_v<T> ?
            nullptr : &destructor<T>;

template <class T>
struct default_error_resource_management_t : error_resource_management
   constexpr default_error_resource_management_t() noexcept

As with the status_code-based implementation proposed in [P1028R3], a string_ref type along with a reference-counted shared-ownership version (here called shared_string_ref) is provided for storing and transporting error messages.

The submitted implementation defines the following error_domains:

  1. generic_domain: transports an std::errc, supports weak-equality comparison with std::errc, dynamic_exception_errc, std::error_code or an error object transporting any of these or an error object transporting an std::exception_ptr.

  2. error_code_domain: transports an std::error_code, supports weak-equality comparison to std::error_code, std::errc, or an error object transporting any of these or an error object transporting an std::exception_ptr

  3. dynamic_exception_domain: stores an std::exception_ptr, supports weak-equality comparison with dynamic_exception_errc, std::errc, std::error_code, or an error object transporting any of these or an error object transporting an std::exception_ptr.

  4. dynamic_exception_code_domain: stores a dynamic_exception_errc, supports weak-equality comparison with dynamic_exception_errc, std::errc, std::error_code or an error object transporting any of these or an error object transporting an std::exception_ptr.

Per the above discussion of POSIX error codes as insuitable for a generic error domain, I would alternatively propose that generic_domain be changed to posix_domain, and dynamic_exception_code_domain be reworked into an error_domain for generic application-level error codes, including individual codes for each standard C++ exception type. Additionally, I would propose including system_domain which, similarly to the current std::system_category, transports error codes returned from an Operating System API and provides semantic comparison to the portable set of POSIX errors defined in std::errc.

5 References

[GNU libstdc++] GNU libstdc++ implements a single-pointer-sized exception_ptr.

[N2351] Peter Dimov and Beman Dawes. 2007. Improving shared_ptr for C++0x, Revision 2.

[P0709R4] Herb Sutter. 2019. Zero-overhead deterministic exceptions.

[P1028R3] Niall Douglas. 2020. SG14 status_code and standard error object.