decltype of a non-static member

Today I learned ([]/3):

An id-expression that denotes a non-static data member or non-static member function of a class can only be used:

  • as part of a class member access in which the object expression refers to the member’s class or a class derived from that class, or

  • to form a pointer to member, or

  • if that id-expression denotes a non-static data member and it appears in an unevaluated operand.

(Thanks to Jason Cobb on Slack for finding that standardese so quickly!)

The example in [] clarifies the meaning of that last bullet point:

struct S {
    int m;
int j = sizeof(S::m + 42);      // OK

Because the argument of decltype is also an unevaluated context, this pokes a surprising hole in the “You must write it three times” style of SFINAE:

void foo(...);

template<class T>
auto foo(T) -> decltype((T::m + 42)) {
    return (T::m + 42);

int main() { foo(S{}); } 

error: invalid use of non-static data member 'm'
    return (T::m + 42);

Where it really gets confusing is that the second and third bullet points conflict with each other, without indicating any kind of priority order. What happens if the id-expression denotes a non-static data member, and appears in an unevaluated operand, and it is (perhaps) used to form a pointer to member? How can the compiler tell whether an expression is intended to “form a pointer to member”?

Consider this Clang bug filed April 2019 (Godbolt):

decltype(&S::m)   mp;  // all vendors agree this is `int S::*`
decltype(&(S::m)) ip;  // GCC, MSVC, ICC agree this is `int*`,
                       // but Clang thinks it's still `int S::*`

Extra weird: If you give S::m an overloaded unary operator&, then Clang starts agreeing that &(S::m) should be the result of applying & to m, rather than a pointer-to-member expression. (Godbolt.)

Vice versa, within a member function, MSVC thinks that &m denotes a pointer-to-member (Godbolt) — again, unless S::m has an overloaded operator&!

struct S {
    int m;
    int mf();

    static void f() {
        decltype(&m) ip;  // GCC, Clang, ICC agree this is `int*`,
                          // but MSVC thinks it's `int S::*`

        decltype(&mf) fp;  // MSVC thinks this is `int (S::*)()`;
                           // other vendors think it's ill-formed


Lénárd Szolnoki points out that requires-expressions are defined in terms of the behavior of decltype((e)), so the same corner cases appear there, as well (Godbolt):

template<class T>
concept C = requires {
    { T::m + 42 } -> std::same_as<int>;


Fortunately UniformRandomBitGenerator’s min and max members are member functions, not member variables, so you would have to do some really silly stuff in order to fool those constraints (even if UniformRandomBitGenerator were a standard concept, which it’s not). Godbolt:

template<class G, class R = typename G::result_type>
concept UniformRandomBitGenerator = requires (G& g) {
    requires std::unsigned_integral<R>;
    { G::min() } -> std::same_as<R>;
    { G::max() } -> std::same_as<R>;
    { g() } -> std::same_as<R>;

struct Evil {
    using result_type = unsigned;
    unsigned operator()();
    static constexpr unsigned min_() { return 0; }
    static constexpr unsigned max_() { return 127; }
    unsigned (*min)() = min_;
    unsigned (*max)() = max_;


See also:

Posted 2021-02-10