DMD 2.081.0 Released

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DMD 2.081.0 is now ready for download. Things that stand out in this release are a few deprecations, the implementation of a recently approved DIP (D Improvement Proposal), and quite a bit of work on C++ compatibility. Be sure to check the changelog for details.

Improving C++ interoperability

D has had binary compatibility with C from the beginning not only because it made sense, but also because it was relatively easy to implement. C++ is a different beast. Its larger-than-C feature set and the differences between it and D introduce complexities that make implementing binary compatibility across all supported platforms a challenge to get right. Because of this, D’s extern(C++) feature has been considered a work in progress since its initial inception.

DMD 2.081.0 brings several improvements to the D <-> C++ story, mostly in the form of name mangling bug fixes and improvements. The mangling of constructors and destructors in extern(C++) now properly match the C++ side, as does that of most of D’s operator overloads (where they are semantically equivalent to C++).

Proper mangling of nullptr_t is implemented now as well. On the D side, use typeof(null):

alias nullptr_t = typeof(null);
extern(C++) void fun(nullptr_t);

The alias in the example is not required, but may help with usability and readability when interfacing with C++. As typing null everywhere is likely reflexive for most D programmers, nullptr_t may be easier to keep in mind than typeof(null) for those special C++ cases.

Most of the D operator overloads in an extern(C++) class will now correctly mangle. This means it’s now possible to bind to operator overloads in C++ classes using the standard D opBinary, opUnary, etc. The exceptions are opCmp, which has no compatible C++ implementation, and the C++ operator!, which has no compatible D implementation.

In addition to name mangling improvements, a nasty bug where extern(C++) destructors were being placed incorrectly in the C++ virtual table has been fixed, and extern(C++) constructors and destructors now semantically match C++. This means mixed-language class hierarchies are now possible and you can now pass extern(C++) classes to object.destroy when you’re done with them.

Indirectly related,  __traits(getLinkage, ...) has been updated to now tell you the ABI with which a struct, class, or interface has been declared, so you can now filter out your extern(C++) aggregates from those which are extern(D) and extern(Objective-C).

The following shows some of the new features in action. First, the C++ class:

#include <iostream>
class CClass {
    int _val;
    CClass(int v) : _val(v) {}
    virtual ~CClass() { std::cout << "Goodbye #" << _val << std::endl; }
    virtual int getVal() { return _val; }
    CClass* operator+(CClass const * const rhs);

CClass* CClass::operator+(CClass const * const rhs) {
    return new CClass(_val + rhs->_val);

And now the D side:

extern(C++) class CClass
    private int _val;
    int getVal();
    CClass opBinary(string op : "+")(const CClass foo);

class DClass : CClass
    this(int v)
    ~this() {}
    override extern(C++) int getVal() { return super.getVal() + 10; }

void main()
    import std.stdio : writeln;

    writeln("CClass linkage: ", __traits(getLinkage, CClass));
    writeln("DClass linkage: ", __traits(getLinkage, DClass));

    DClass clazz1 = new DClass(5);
    scope(exit) destroy(clazz1);
    writeln("clazz1._val: ", clazz1.getVal());

    DClass clazz2 = new DClass(6);
    scope(exit) destroy(clazz2);
    writeln("clazz2._val: ", clazz2.getVal());

    CClass clazz3 = clazz1 + clazz2;
    scope(exit) destroy(clazz3);
    writeln("clazz3._val: ", clazz3.getVal);

Compile the C++ class to an object file with your C++ compiler, then pass the object file to DMD on the command line with the D source module and Bob’s your uncle (just make sure on Windows to pass -m64 or -m32mscoff to dmd if you compile the C++ file with the 64-bit or 32-bit Microsoft Build Tools, respectively).

This is still a work in progress and users diving into the deep end with C++ and D are bound to hit shallow spots more frequently than they would like, but this release marks a major leap forward in C++ interoperability.

DIP 1009

Given the amount of time DIP 1009 spent crawling through the DIP review process, it was a big relief for all involved when it was finally approved. The DIP proposed a new syntax for contracts in D. For the uninitiated, the old syntax looked like this:

int fun(ref int a, int b)
    // Preconditions
    assert(a > 0);
    assert(b >= 0, "b cannot be negative");
out(result) // (result) is optional if you don't need to test it
    // Postconditions
    assert(result > 0, "returned result must be positive");
    assert(a != 0);
 	// The function body
    a += b;
    return b * 100;

Thanks to DIP 1009, starting in DMD 2.081.0 you can do all of that more concisely with the new expression-based contract syntax:

int fun(ref int a, int b)
    in(a > 0)
    in(b >= 0, "b cannot be negative")
    out(result; result > 0, "returned result must be positive")
    out(; a != 0)
    a += b;
    return b * 100;

Note that result is optional in both the old and new out contract syntaxes and can be given any name. Also note that the old syntax will continue to work.


There’s not much information to add here beyond what’s already in the changelog, but these are cases that users should be aware of:

The #dbugfix campaign

The inaugural #dbugfix round prior to the release of DMD 2.080 was a success, but Round 2 has been much, much quieter (few nominations, very little discussion, and no votes).

One of the two nominated bugs selected from Round 1 was issue #18068. It was fixed and merged into the new 2.081.0 release. The second bug selected was issue #15984, which has not yet been fixed.

In Round 2, the following bugs were nominated with one vote each:

I’ll hand this list off to our team of bug fixing volunteers and hope there’s something here they can tackle.

Round 3 of the #dbugfix campaign is on now. Please nominate the bugs you want to see fixed! Create a thread in the General Forum with #dbugfix and the issue number in the title, or send out a tweet containing #dbugfix and the issue number. I’ll tally them up at the end of the cycle (September 28).

And please, if you do use the #dbugfix in a tweet, remember that it’s intended for nominating bugs you want fixed and not for bringing attention to your pull requests!

5 thoughts on “DMD 2.081.0 Released”

    1. The end goal isn’t to nominate the bugs, but to get them fixed. Besides, #dbugfix is shorter and, IMO, catchier.

    1. I’m unfamiliar with that project, but looking at the code I see there may be some pain points. I suppose it depends on which parts of the API you need to use.

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