C++14 decltype(auto) : uses

C++14 decltype(auto) uses

The new C++14 added a new type specifier known as decltype(auto) .The sole purpose of this type specifier is to make auto deduce the type of the initializer like the decltype type specifier.In other words it enforce decltype rule in auto when deducing the type.Like the auto this type specifier will deduce the type from the initializer assign to this type object.You can use it in your program like the auto type specifier.

int i=89 ;
decltype(auto) da=i ; ///da is int type
auto daa=i ; ///daa is int type

cout<< da ;

Similarity between decltype() and decltype(auto)

One thing you must clearly understand is although decltype(auto) is an auto type specifier,it will deduce the type like a decltype type specifier.So all the type deduction rule of decltype also applies to decltype(auto).
Consider the code below.

int i=89 , &iref=i ;

auto au=((i)) ; ///au is int type

decltype((i)) dt=iref ;///dt is int& type

decltype(auto) dau=((i)) ; ///dau is int& type

You can clearly see the similarity between decltype() and decltype(auto) in the code example given above.Both of the type specifier deduce the type of the initializer as a reference to int type whereas auto deduce the type as simply an int type.

Another example of similarity between decltype and decltype(auto) is when using them to specify the return type in a function.Consider the functions below where auto ,decltype and decltype(auto) is used to specify the return type of the functions.

int i;

auto funcAuto(int i)
return (++i) ;

decltype(auto) funcDecltypeAuto(int i)
return (++i) ;

decltype((i)) funcDecltype(int i)
return (++i) ;

int main( )
funcAuto(45)= 78; ///error

funcDecltypeAuto(34) =78 ; ///work fine

funcDecltype(23)=67 ; ///work fine

return 0;

Since the return type of funcDecltype() and funcDecltypeAuto() is a reference to int type,the returned object can be used as lvalue and so assigning a value to it is allowed.But in case of auto the type return is an int type literal value so it cannot be used as lvalue or further assignment of the value to the return object is prohibited.

Some more examples on auto ,decltype() and decltype(auto)

Here are some more example code on how the type deduce by auto and dectype() , decltype(auto) differ.

int val=89 , &ref=val , &refnew=val ;

deducing a reference initializer

auto a1=ref ; /// a1 is int type

decltype(ref) dec1= 89 ;//error because dec1 is int& type
decltype(ref) dec2=refnew ;///work fine
decltype(auto) decau= ref ; ///decau is int& type

deducing an object with &

auto a2 = &val ; ///s2 is int* type

decltype(&val) dec3 = &ref ; ///dec3 is int* type
decltype(auto) decau1 = &val ; ///decau1 is int* type

deducing a const pointer object

const int cval = 34 , *ip=&val ;

auto a3 = ip ; ///a3 is const int* type

decltype(ip) dec4 = ip ; ///dec4 is const int* type
decltype(auto) decau2 = ip ; ///decau2 is const int* type


The use of decltype(auto) is to deduce the return type of a function.And mainly so when you want the type deduce to be of reference type where a normal value is passed as a return value.We can use dectype() in such function but it would mean declaring extra variable to pass as argument when decltype() is call.But,with decltype(auto) the extra declaration of the variable is omitted.

Related Link

->C++14 auto