Converting between the containers with transparent and non-transparent comparators


This Content is from Stack Overflow. Question asked by Weijun Zhou

I have a class A that has a member std::map<std::string, Data, std::less<>> where Data is another from a library whose source code I’d rather leave intact. I have opted in to use the transparent comparator by using std::less<> as the template argument since I want to be able to benefit from std::string_view.

The library only takes a std::map<std::string, Data>&. So I need to somehow convert from std::map<std::string, Data, std::less<>> to std::map<std::string, Data>. However, these two types are unrelated from the C++ language point of view, even though the internal structure of rb tree would be exactly the same (assuming the implementation uses rb tree to implement std::map, but that’s just implementation detail), so directly casting will fail.

So is the following snippet the best way to achieve the goal or is there a better way to perform such a conversion?

#include <map>
#include <string>
#include <string_view>
#include <optional>

// Inside the library
namespace Library{
    class Data {
    typedef std::map<std::string, Data> DataMap_t;
    void processMap(DataMap_t& map){
        //Something that mutates Data inside the map based on map key and other info

// In the application code
class A{
        typedef std::map<std::string, Library::Data, std::less<>> TransparentDataMap_t;
        void processMap(){
            Library::DataMap_t dataMap;
            // This doesn't work, of course
            //dataMap = static_cast<Library::DataMap_t>(transparentDataMap);
        std::optional<Library::Data> dataAt(std::string_view sv){
            const auto iter = transparentDataMap.find(sv);
            if(iter == transparentDataMap.end()){
                return {};
            return iter->second;
        //Other member functions ...
        TransparentDataMap_t transparentDataMap;
        //Other data members ...


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