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// Copyright 2019 The Abseil Authors.
// Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
// you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
// You may obtain a copy of the License at
// Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
// distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
// See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
// limitations under the License.
// -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
// File: flag.h
// -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
// This header file defines the `absl::Flag<T>` type for holding command-line
// flag data, and abstractions to create, get and set such flag data.
// It is important to note that this type is **unspecified** (an implementation
// detail) and you do not construct or manipulate actual `absl::Flag<T>`
// instances. Instead, you define and declare flags using the
// `ABSL_FLAG()` and `ABSL_DECLARE_FLAG()` macros, and get and set flag values
// using the `absl::GetFlag()` and `absl::SetFlag()` functions.
#include <string>
#include <type_traits>
#include "absl/base/attributes.h"
#include "absl/base/config.h"
#include "absl/base/optimization.h"
#include "absl/flags/config.h"
#include "absl/flags/internal/flag.h"
#include "absl/flags/internal/registry.h"
#include "absl/strings/string_view.h"
namespace absl {
// Flag
// An `absl::Flag` holds a command-line flag value, providing a runtime
// parameter to a binary. Such flags should be defined in the global namespace
// and (preferably) in the module containing the binary's `main()` function.
// You should not construct and cannot use the `absl::Flag` type directly;
// instead, you should declare flags using the `ABSL_DECLARE_FLAG()` macro
// within a header file, and define your flag using `ABSL_FLAG()` within your
// header's associated `.cc` file. Such flags will be named `FLAGS_name`.
// Example:
// .h file
// // Declares usage of a flag named "FLAGS_count"
// ABSL_DECLARE_FLAG(int, count);
// .cc file
// // Defines a flag named "FLAGS_count" with a default `int` value of 0.
// ABSL_FLAG(int, count, 0, "Count of items to process");
// No public methods of `absl::Flag<T>` are part of the Abseil Flags API.
#if !defined(_MSC_VER) || defined(__clang__)
template <typename T>
using Flag = flags_internal::Flag<T>;
// MSVC debug builds do not implement initialization with constexpr constructors
// correctly. To work around this we add a level of indirection, so that the
// class `absl::Flag` contains an `internal::Flag*` (instead of being an alias
// to that class) and dynamically allocates an instance when necessary. We also
// forward all calls to internal::Flag methods via trampoline methods. In this
// setup the `absl::Flag` class does not have constructor and virtual methods,
// all the data members are public and thus MSVC is able to initialize it at
// link time. To deal with multiple threads accessing the flag for the first
// time concurrently we use an atomic boolean indicating if flag object is
// initialized. We also employ the double-checked locking pattern where the
// second level of protection is a global Mutex, so if two threads attempt to
// construct the flag concurrently only one wins.
// This solution is based on a recomendation here:
namespace flags_internal {
absl::Mutex* GetGlobalConstructionGuard();
} // namespace flags_internal
template <typename T>
class Flag {
// No constructor and destructor to ensure this is an aggregate type.
// Visual Studio 2015 still requires the constructor for class to be
// constexpr initializable.
#if _MSC_VER <= 1900
constexpr Flag(const char* name, const char* filename,
const flags_internal::HelpGenFunc help_gen,
const flags_internal::FlagDfltGenFunc default_value_gen)
: name_(name),
impl_(nullptr) {}
flags_internal::Flag<T>& GetImpl() const {
if (!inited_.load(std::memory_order_acquire)) {
absl::MutexLock l(flags_internal::GetGlobalConstructionGuard());
if (inited_.load(std::memory_order_acquire)) {
return *impl_;
impl_ = new flags_internal::Flag<T>(
name_, filename_,
flags_internal::FlagDefaultKind::kGenFunc});, std::memory_order_release);
return *impl_;
// Public methods of `absl::Flag<T>` are NOT part of the Abseil Flags API.
// See
bool IsRetired() const { return GetImpl().IsRetired(); }
absl::string_view Name() const { return GetImpl().Name(); }
std::string Help() const { return GetImpl().Help(); }
bool IsModified() const { return GetImpl().IsModified(); }
bool IsSpecifiedOnCommandLine() const {
return GetImpl().IsSpecifiedOnCommandLine();
std::string Filename() const { return GetImpl().Filename(); }
std::string DefaultValue() const { return GetImpl().DefaultValue(); }
std::string CurrentValue() const { return GetImpl().CurrentValue(); }
template <typename U>
inline bool IsOfType() const {
return GetImpl().template IsOfType<U>();
T Get() const {
return flags_internal::FlagImplPeer::InvokeGet<T>(GetImpl());
void Set(const T& v) {
flags_internal::FlagImplPeer::InvokeSet(GetImpl(), v);
void InvokeCallback() { GetImpl().InvokeCallback(); }
const CommandLineFlag& Reflect() const {
return flags_internal::FlagImplPeer::InvokeReflect(GetImpl());
// The data members are logically private, but they need to be public for
// this to be an aggregate type.
const char* name_;
const char* filename_;
const flags_internal::HelpGenFunc help_gen_;
const flags_internal::FlagDfltGenFunc default_value_gen_;
mutable std::atomic<bool> inited_;
mutable flags_internal::Flag<T>* impl_;
// GetFlag()
// Returns the value (of type `T`) of an `absl::Flag<T>` instance, by value. Do
// not construct an `absl::Flag<T>` directly and call `absl::GetFlag()`;
// instead, refer to flag's constructed variable name (e.g. `FLAGS_name`).
// Because this function returns by value and not by reference, it is
// thread-safe, but note that the operation may be expensive; as a result, avoid
// `absl::GetFlag()` within any tight loops.
// Example:
// // FLAGS_count is a Flag of type `int`
// int my_count = absl::GetFlag(FLAGS_count);
// // FLAGS_firstname is a Flag of type `std::string`
// std::string first_name = absl::GetFlag(FLAGS_firstname);
template <typename T>
ABSL_MUST_USE_RESULT T GetFlag(const absl::Flag<T>& flag) {
return flags_internal::FlagImplPeer::InvokeGet<T>(flag);
// SetFlag()
// Sets the value of an `absl::Flag` to the value `v`. Do not construct an
// `absl::Flag<T>` directly and call `absl::SetFlag()`; instead, use the
// flag's variable name (e.g. `FLAGS_name`). This function is
// thread-safe, but is potentially expensive. Avoid setting flags in general,
// but especially within performance-critical code.
template <typename T>
void SetFlag(absl::Flag<T>* flag, const T& v) {
flags_internal::FlagImplPeer::InvokeSet(*flag, v);
// Overload of `SetFlag()` to allow callers to pass in a value that is
// convertible to `T`. E.g., use this overload to pass a "const char*" when `T`
// is `std::string`.
template <typename T, typename V>
void SetFlag(absl::Flag<T>* flag, const V& v) {
T value(v);
flags_internal::FlagImplPeer::InvokeSet(*flag, value);
// GetFlagReflectionHandle()
// Returns the reflection handle corresponding to specified Abseil Flag
// instance. Use this handle to access flag's reflection information, like name,
// location, default value etc.
// Example:
// std::string = absl::GetFlagReflectionHandle(FLAGS_count).DefaultValue();
template <typename T>
const CommandLineFlag& GetFlagReflectionHandle(const absl::Flag<T>& f) {
return flags_internal::FlagImplPeer::InvokeReflect(f);
} // namespace absl
// This macro defines an `absl::Flag<T>` instance of a specified type `T`:
// ABSL_FLAG(T, name, default_value, help);
// where:
// * `T` is a supported flag type (see the list of types in `marshalling.h`),
// * `name` designates the name of the flag (as a global variable
// `FLAGS_name`),
// * `default_value` is an expression holding the default value for this flag
// (which must be implicitly convertible to `T`),
// * `help` is the help text, which can also be an expression.
// This macro expands to a flag named 'FLAGS_name' of type 'T':
// absl::Flag<T> FLAGS_name = ...;
// Note that all such instances are created as global variables.
// For `ABSL_FLAG()` values that you wish to expose to other translation units,
// it is recommended to define those flags within the `.cc` file associated with
// the header where the flag is declared.
// Note: do not construct objects of type `absl::Flag<T>` directly. Only use the
// `ABSL_FLAG()` macro for such construction.
#define ABSL_FLAG(Type, name, default_value, help) \
ABSL_FLAG_IMPL(Type, name, default_value, help)
// ABSL_FLAG().OnUpdate()
// Defines a flag of type `T` with a callback attached:
// ABSL_FLAG(T, name, default_value, help).OnUpdate(callback);
// After any setting of the flag value, the callback will be called at least
// once. A rapid sequence of changes may be merged together into the same
// callback. No concurrent calls to the callback will be made for the same
// flag. Callbacks are allowed to read the current value of the flag but must
// not mutate that flag.
// The update mechanism guarantees "eventual consistency"; if the callback
// derives an auxiliary data structure from the flag value, it is guaranteed
// that eventually the flag value and the derived data structure will be
// consistent.
// Note: ABSL_FLAG.OnUpdate() does not have a public definition. Hence, this
// comment serves as its API documentation.
// -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Implementation details below this section
// -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
// ABSL_FLAG_IMPL macro definition conditional on ABSL_FLAGS_STRIP_NAMES
#if !defined(_MSC_VER) || defined(__clang__)
#define ABSL_FLAG_IMPL_FLAG_PTR(flag) flag
#define ABSL_FLAG_IMPL_HELP_ARG(name) \
absl::flags_internal::HelpArg<AbslFlagHelpGenFor##name>( \
#define ABSL_FLAG_IMPL_DEFAULT_ARG(Type, name) \
absl::flags_internal::DefaultArg<Type, AbslFlagDefaultGenFor##name>(0)
#define ABSL_FLAG_IMPL_FLAG_PTR(flag) flag.GetImpl()
#define ABSL_FLAG_IMPL_HELP_ARG(name) &AbslFlagHelpGenFor##name::NonConst
#define ABSL_FLAG_IMPL_DEFAULT_ARG(Type, name) &AbslFlagDefaultGenFor##name::Gen
absl::flags_internal::FlagRegistrar<T, false>(ABSL_FLAG_IMPL_FLAG_PTR(flag))
#define ABSL_FLAG_IMPL_FLAGNAME(txt) txt
absl::flags_internal::FlagRegistrar<T, true>(ABSL_FLAG_IMPL_FLAG_PTR(flag))
// ABSL_FLAG_IMPL macro definition conditional on ABSL_FLAGS_STRIP_HELP
#define ABSL_FLAG_IMPL_FLAGHELP(txt) absl::flags_internal::kStrippedFlagHelp
#define ABSL_FLAG_IMPL_FLAGHELP(txt) txt
// AbslFlagHelpGenFor##name is used to encapsulate both immediate (method Const)
// and lazy (method NonConst) evaluation of help message expression. We choose
// between the two via the call to HelpArg in absl::Flag instantiation below.
// If help message expression is constexpr evaluable compiler will optimize
// away this whole struct.
// TODO(rogeeff): place these generated structs into local namespace and apply
// TODO(rogeeff): Apply __attribute__((nodebug)) to FLAGS_help_storage_##name
struct AbslFlagHelpGenFor##name { \
/* The expression is run in the caller as part of the */ \
/* default value argument. That keeps temporaries alive */ \
/* long enough for NonConst to work correctly. */ \
static constexpr absl::string_view Value( \
absl::string_view v = ABSL_FLAG_IMPL_FLAGHELP(txt)) { \
return v; \
} \
static std::string NonConst() { return std::string(Value()); } \
}; \
constexpr auto FLAGS_help_storage_##name ABSL_INTERNAL_UNIQUE_SMALL_NAME() \
absl::flags_internal::HelpStringAsArray<AbslFlagHelpGenFor##name>( \
#define ABSL_FLAG_IMPL_DECLARE_DEF_VAL_WRAPPER(name, Type, default_value) \
struct AbslFlagDefaultGenFor##name { \
Type value = absl::flags_internal::InitDefaultValue<Type>(default_value); \
static void Gen(void* p) { \
new (p) Type(AbslFlagDefaultGenFor##name{}.value); \
} \
// Note: Name of registrar object is not arbitrary. It is used to "grab"
// global name for FLAGS_no<flag_name> symbol, thus preventing the possibility
// of defining two flags with names foo and nofoo.
#define ABSL_FLAG_IMPL(Type, name, default_value, help) \
namespace absl /* block flags in namespaces */ {} \
ABSL_FLAG_IMPL_DECLARE_DEF_VAL_WRAPPER(name, Type, default_value) \
ABSL_CONST_INIT absl::Flag<Type> FLAGS_##name{ \
extern absl::flags_internal::FlagRegistrarEmpty FLAGS_no##name; \
absl::flags_internal::FlagRegistrarEmpty FLAGS_no##name = \
// Designates the flag (which is usually pre-existing) as "retired." A retired
// flag is a flag that is now unused by the program, but may still be passed on
// the command line, usually by production scripts. A retired flag is ignored
// and code can't access it at runtime.
// This macro registers a retired flag with given name and type, with a name
// identical to the name of the original flag you are retiring. The retired
// flag's type can change over time, so that you can retire code to support a
// custom flag type.
// This macro has the same signature as `ABSL_FLAG`. To retire a flag, simply
// replace an `ABSL_FLAG` definition with `ABSL_RETIRED_FLAG`, leaving the
// arguments unchanged (unless of course you actually want to retire the flag
// type at this time as well).
// `default_value` is only used as a double check on the type. `explanation` is
// unused.
// TODO(rogeeff): replace RETIRED_FLAGS with FLAGS once forward declarations of
// retired flags are cleaned up.
#define ABSL_RETIRED_FLAG(type, name, default_value, explanation) \
static absl::flags_internal::RetiredFlag<type> RETIRED_FLAGS_##name; \
ABSL_ATTRIBUTE_UNUSED static const auto RETIRED_FLAGS_REG_##name = \
(RETIRED_FLAGS_##name.Retire(#name), \
#endif // ABSL_FLAGS_FLAG_H_