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Annotated example for defining a class membership checking predicate template
Demonstrate a Boost/MPL style macro to create predicate templates for class member checking
Copyright (c) 2013 Erik Erlandson
Author: Erik Erlandson <>
Distributed under the Boost Software License, Version 1.0.
See accompanying file LICENSE or copy at
#include <iostream>
#include <boost/type_traits.hpp>
#include <boost/type_traits/is_same.hpp>
#include <boost/utility/enable_if.hpp>
#include <boost/typeof/std/utility.hpp>
// Boost now provides this kind of functionality via the TTI library, introduced on boost 1.54
// This macro defines a predicate template to check a class for a member 'member'
// 'member' can be any definition: member variable, member function, a nested type, etc
// It works like this: first, it declares a namespace to cache working typedefs.
// When T and U both have a member 'member', struct 'ambig' will induce an ambiguity failure
// The struct 'test' uses SFINAE to resolve to 'true' when T defines 'member'
// The specialization of 'test' matches when T does *not* define 'member'
// Struct 'seed' exists to define a 'member', that will induce an ambiguity error when
// the class of interest also defines 'member'
// This code is based on an example by Brett Rossier, adapted to use boost MPL facilities:
#define CREATE_MEMBER_CHECK(member) \
namespace __has_member_##member { \
template <typename T, typename U> struct ambig : public T, public U {}; \
template <typename T, typename U, typename Enable = void> \
struct test : public boost::true_type {}; \
template <typename T, typename U> \
struct test<T, U, typename boost::enable_if<boost::is_same<BOOST_TYPEOF(&T:: member), BOOST_TYPEOF(&U:: member)> >::type> : public boost::false_type {}; \
struct seed { char member ; }; \
} \
template <typename T> struct has_member_##member : public __has_member_##member::test<__has_member_##member::ambig<T, __has_member_##member::seed>, __has_member_##member::seed> {}
// define a couple test classes
// this test class has no members
struct sss0 {};
// this one has all the members
struct sss1 {
void foo() {}
int bar;
typedef int baz;
// define member-checking templates for 'foo', 'bar' and 'baz:
// Now demonstrate the checking templates in action. Note that the template
// inherits from either boost::true_type or boost::false_type, so it can be used in
// all the same kind of MPL contexts
int main(int argc, char** argv) {
// outputs 0 (false)
std::cout << has_member_foo<sss0>::value << "\n";
// outputs 1 (true)
std::cout << has_member_foo<sss1>::value << "\n";
// outputs 0 (false)
std::cout << has_member_bar<sss0>::value << "\n";
// outputs 1 (true)
std::cout << has_member_bar<sss1>::value << "\n";
// outputs 0 (false)
std::cout << has_member_baz<sss0>::value << "\n";
// outputs 1 (true)
std::cout << has_member_baz<sss1>::value << "\n";
return 0;
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