Rewrites function signatures to use a trailing return type (introduced in C++11). This transformation is purely stylistic. The return type before the function name is replaced by auto and inserted after the function parameter list (and qualifiers).


int f1();
inline int f2(int arg) noexcept;
virtual float f3() const && = delete;

transforms to:

auto f1() -> int;
inline auto f2(int arg) -> int noexcept;
virtual auto f3() const && -> float = delete;

Known Limitations

The following categories of return types cannot be rewritten currently:

  • function pointers

  • member function pointers

  • member pointers

Unqualified names in the return type might erroneously refer to different entities after the rewrite. Preventing such errors requires a full lookup of all unqualified names present in the return type in the scope of the trailing return type location. This location includes e.g. function parameter names and members of the enclosing class (including all inherited classes). Such a lookup is currently not implemented.

Given the following piece of code

struct S { long long value; };
S f(unsigned S) { return {S * 2}; }
class CC {
  int S;
  struct S m();
S CC::m() { return {0}; }

a careless rewrite would produce the following output:

struct S { long long value; };
auto f(unsigned S) -> S { return {S * 2}; } // error
class CC {
  int S;
  auto m() -> struct S;
auto CC::m() -> S { return {0}; } // error

This code fails to compile because the S in the context of f refers to the equally named function parameter. Similarly, the S in the context of m refers to the equally named class member. The check can currently only detect and avoid a clash with a function parameter name.