Compilation problems with vector<auto_ptr<> >

Consider the following code:

#include <iostream>
#include <memory>
#include <vector>

using namespace std;

struct A
{
    int a;
    A(int a_):a(a_) {}
};

int main()
{
    vector<auto_ptr<A> > as;
    for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++)
    {
        auto_ptr<A> a(new A(i));
        as.push_back(a);
    }
    for (vector<auto_ptr<A> >::iterator it = as.begin(); it != as.end(); ++it)
        cout << (*it)->a << endl;
}

When trying to compile it, I get the following obscure compiler error from g++:

g++ -O0 -g3 -Wall -c -fmessage-length=0 -MMD -MP -MF"src/proba.d" -MT"src/proba.d" -o"src/proba.o" "../src/proba.cpp"
/usr/include/c++/4.1.2/ext/new_allocator.h: In member function ‘void __gnu_cxx::new_allocator<_Tp>::construct(_Tp*, const _Tp&) [with _Tp = std::auto_ptr<A>]’:
/usr/include/c++/4.1.2/bits/stl_vector.h:606:   instantiated from ‘void std::vector<_Tp, _Alloc>::push_back(const _Tp&) [with _Tp = std::auto_ptr<A>, _Alloc = std::allocator<std::auto_ptr<A> >]’
../src/proba.cpp:19:   instantiated from here
/usr/include/c++/4.1.2/ext/new_allocator.h:104: error: passing ‘const std::auto_ptr<A>’ as ‘this’ argument of ‘std::auto_ptr<_Tp>::operator std::auto_ptr_ref<_Tp1>() [with _Tp1 = A, _Tp = A]’ discards qualifiers
/usr/include/c++/4.1.2/bits/vector.tcc: In member function ‘void std::vector<_Tp, _Alloc>::_M_insert_aux(__gnu_cxx::__normal_iterator<typename std::_Vector_base<_Tp, _Alloc>::_Tp_alloc_type::pointer, std::vector<_Tp, _Alloc> >, const _Tp&) [with _Tp = std::auto_ptr<A>, _Alloc = std::allocator<std::auto_ptr<A> >]’:
/usr/include/c++/4.1.2/bits/stl_vector.h:610:   instantiated from ‘void std::vector<_Tp, _Alloc>::push_back(const _Tp&) [with _Tp = std::auto_ptr<A>, _Alloc = std::allocator<std::auto_ptr<A> >]’
../src/proba.cpp:19:   instantiated from here
/usr/include/c++/4.1.2/bits/vector.tcc:256: error: passing ‘const std::auto_ptr<A>’ as ‘this’ argument of ‘std::auto_ptr<_Tp>::operator std::auto_ptr_ref<_Tp1>() [with _Tp1 = A, _Tp = A]’ discards qualifiers
/usr/include/c++/4.1.2/bits/stl_construct.h: In function ‘void std::_Construct(_T1*, const _T2&) [with _T1 = std::auto_ptr<A>, _T2 = std::auto_ptr<A>]’:
/usr/include/c++/4.1.2/bits/stl_uninitialized.h:86:   instantiated from ‘_ForwardIterator std::__uninitialized_copy_aux(_InputIterator, _InputIterator, _ForwardIterator, __false_type) [with _InputIterator = __gnu_cxx::__normal_iterator<std::auto_ptr<A>*, std::vector<std::auto_ptr<A>, std::allocator<std::auto_ptr<A> > > >, _ForwardIterator = __gnu_cxx::__normal_iterator<std::auto_ptr<A>*, std::vector<std::auto_ptr<A>, std::allocator<std::auto_ptr<A> > > >]’
/usr/include/c++/4.1.2/bits/stl_uninitialized.h:113:   instantiated from ‘_ForwardIterator std::uninitialized_copy(_InputIterator, _InputIterator, _ForwardIterator) [with _InputIterator = __gnu_cxx::__normal_iterator<std::auto_ptr<A>*, std::vector<std::auto_ptr<A>, std::allocator<std::auto_ptr<A> > > >, _ForwardIterator = __gnu_cxx::__normal_iterator<std::auto_ptr<A>*, std::vector<std::auto_ptr<A>, std::allocator<std::auto_ptr<A> > > >]’
/usr/include/c++/4.1.2/bits/stl_uninitialized.h:254:   instantiated from ‘_ForwardIterator std::__uninitialized_copy_a(_InputIterator, _InputIterator, _ForwardIterator, std::allocator<_Tp>) [with _InputIterator = __gnu_cxx::__normal_iterator<std::auto_ptr<A>*, std::vector<std::auto_ptr<A>, std::allocator<std::auto_ptr<A> > > >, _ForwardIterator = __gnu_cxx::__normal_iterator<std::auto_ptr<A>*, std::vector<std::auto_ptr<A>, std::allocator<std::auto_ptr<A> > > >, _Tp = std::auto_ptr<A>]’
/usr/include/c++/4.1.2/bits/vector.tcc:279:   instantiated from ‘void std::vector<_Tp, _Alloc>::_M_insert_aux(__gnu_cxx::__normal_iterator<typename std::_Vector_base<_Tp, _Alloc>::_Tp_alloc_type::pointer, std::vector<_Tp, _Alloc> >, const _Tp&) [with _Tp = std::auto_ptr<A>, _Alloc = std::allocator<std::auto_ptr<A> >]’
/usr/include/c++/4.1.2/bits/stl_vector.h:610:   instantiated from ‘void std::vector<_Tp, _Alloc>::push_back(const _Tp&) [with _Tp = std::auto_ptr<A>, _Alloc = std::allocator<std::auto_ptr<A> >]’
../src/proba.cpp:19:   instantiated from here
/usr/include/c++/4.1.2/bits/stl_construct.h:81: error: passing ‘const std::auto_ptr<A>’ as ‘this’ argument of ‘std::auto_ptr<_Tp>::operator std::auto_ptr_ref<_Tp1>() [with _Tp1 = A, _Tp = A]’ discards qualifiers
make: *** [src/proba.o] Error 1

It seems to me that there is some kind of problem with consts here. Does this mean that auto_ptr can't be used in vectors?

Answers


Correct, std::auto_ptr cannot be used in std::vector.

What the compiler is complaining about there is the assignment operator for auto_ptr changes the object being assigned from, and so it cannot be const.

You want to use either boost::ptr_vector or a vector of boost::shared_ptrs


auto_ptr has a copy constructor with a non-const parameter, so the compiler can't call it from vector::push_back() since the latter has const parameter.

The reason is when you initialize one auto_ptr instance from another the new instance disconnects the object from the other instance and connects it to self so avoid a dangling pointer situation when one instance deletes the object and the other still holds a pointer to it.


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