P1144 case study: Moving a fixed_capacity_vector

I wrote up this example on Wednesday morning for my presentation of P1144 “Object relocation in terms of move plus destroy” at the Kona committee meeting.

Here’s the complete code on Godbolt (backup). Consider a skeleton fixed_capacity_vector:

template<class T, int Cap>
class fixed_capacity_vector {
    int size_ = 0;
    alignas(T) char buffer_[Cap][sizeof(T)];
    fixed_capacity_vector(fixed_capacity_vector&& rhs) noexcept {
    ~fixed_capacity_vector() {
        for (int i=0; i < size_; ++i) {
    template<class... Args>
    void emplace_back(Args&&... args) {
        // assert(size_ < Cap);
        new ((void*)buffer_[size_]) T(std::forward<Args>(args)...);
        size_ += 1;
    T *begin() { return (T*)buffer_[0]; }
    T *end() { return (T*)buffer_[size_]; }

Consider a test harness using this fixed_capacity_vector.

fixed_capacity_vector<TYPE, 100>
test(fixed_capacity_vector<TYPE, 100> vec) {
    return vec;

Let type T be whatever you like — int*, unique_ptr<int>, shared_ptr<int>. What’s the fastest way to move-construct a fixed_capacity_vector when it’s returned from a function, as in this example?

Boost’s static_vector does this:

fixed_capacity_vector(fixed_capacity_vector&& rhs) noexcept {
    size_ = rhs.size_;
    std::uninitialized_move(rhs.begin(), rhs.end(), this->begin());

I suggest that a faster way would be to do this instead:

fixed_capacity_vector(fixed_capacity_vector&& rhs) noexcept {
    size_ = rhs.size_;
    std::uninitialized_relocate(rhs.begin(), rhs.end(), this->begin());
    rhs.size_ = 0;

With my P1144-enabled compiler and library, I compiled my test case nine different ways. The compiler command line looks like this:

clang++ -S test.cc -std=c++17 -O3 -DTYPE='int*'
wc -l test.s
grep memcpy test.s

To test the “move” strategy, I add -DUSE_RELOCATE_TO_MOVE=0 to the command line. To test the “relocate (no P1144)” strategy, I add -DUSE_RELOCATE_TO_MOVE=1 -D_LIBCPP_TRIVIALLY_RELOCATABLE=. To test the “relocate (with P1144)” strategy, I add -DUSE_RELOCATE_TO_MOVE=1.

The results:

-DTYPE= Strategy Code size Uses memcpy?
int* move 116 no
int* relocate (no P1144) 42 yes
int* relocate (with P1144) 42 yes
unique_ptr<int> move 95 no
unique_ptr<int> relocate (no P1144) 96 no
unique_ptr<int> relocate (with P1144) 42 yes
shared_ptr<int> move 98 no
shared_ptr<int> relocate (no P1144) 99 no
shared_ptr<int> relocate (with P1144) 45 yes
Posted 2019-02-22