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Chapter 35. Boost.TypeIndex 4.0

Distributed under the Boost Software License, Version 1.0. (See accompanying file LICENSE_1_0.txt or copy at

Table of Contents

Getting started
How to use
Example with Boost.Any
Example with Boost.Variant
Configuring and building the library
How it works
Getting human readable and mangled type names
Storing information about a type in container
Getting through the inheritance to receive a real type name
Exact type matching: storing type with const, volatile and reference qualifiers
Table of raw_name() and pretty_name() outputs with and without RTTI
Boost.TypeIndex Header Reference
Header <boost/type_index.hpp>
Header <boost/type_index/ctti_type_index.hpp>
Header <boost/type_index/stl_type_index.hpp>
Header <boost/type_index/type_index_facade.hpp>
Making a custom type_index
Getting type infos at runtime
Using new type infos all around the code
Space and Performance
Code bloat
RTTI emulation limitations
Fixing pretty_name() output
Mixing sources with RTTI on and RTTI off

Sometimes getting and storing information about a type at runtime is required. For such cases a construction like &typeid(T) or C++11 class std::type_index is usually used, which is where problems start:

  • typeid(T) and std::type_index require Run Time Type Info (RTTI)
  • some implementations of typeid(T) erroneously do not strip const, volatile and references from type
  • some compilers have bugs and do not correctly compare std::type_info objects across shared libraries
  • only a few implementations of Standard Library currently provide std::type_index
  • no easy way to store type info without stripping const, volatile and references
  • no nice and portable way to get human readable type names
  • no way to easily make your own type info class

Boost.TypeIndex library was designed to work around all those issues.

[Note] Note

T means type here. Think of it as of T in template <class T>

Last revised: December 14, 2015 at 09:19:39 GMT