Based on this question, I have made a simple program to print a sequence of random numbers. The program seems to run fine, but I would like to know if my implementation is correct and how I can improve it.

#include <random>
#include <array>
#include <algorithm>
#include <functional>
#include <iostream>

template<class T = std::mt19937, std::size_t N = T::state_size>
auto randomEngine() -> typename std::enable_if_t<!!N, T>
    std::array<typename T::result_type, N> seed_data;
    thread_local static std::random_device source;
    std::generate(std::begin(seed_data), std::end(seed_data), std::ref(source));
    std::seed_seq seeds(std::begin(seed_data), std::end(seed_data));
    thread_local static T seeded_engine(seeds);
    return seeded_engine;

template<typename T>
T random(T min, T max)
    static_assert(std::is_integral<T>::value || std::is_floating_point<T>::value, "!");

    using UniformInt = std::uniform_int_distribution<T>;
    using UniformReal = std::uniform_real_distribution<T>;
    using DistType = std::conditional_t<std::is_integral<T>::value, UniformInt, UniformReal>;

    static auto RandomEngine = randomEngine();

    DistType uniformDistribution(min, max);

    return uniformDistribution(RandomEngine);

int main()
    for (auto i = 0u; i < 16; ++i) 
        std::cout << random(0u, 15u) << ' ';

1 Answer 1


Extra typenames

Every place you use typename, it's unnecessary. std::enable_if_t will take care of that for you.


First of all, thread_local implies static, so writing both is redundant. Secondly, if you're making it thread_local, that's effectively like making a thread-specific singlelton - so you should return a reference to it, not a copy:

template<class T = std::mt19937, std::size_t N = T::state_size>
auto randomEngine() -> std::enable_if_t<!!N, T&>

And take it by reference:

static auto& RandomEngine = randomEngine();


I'm not sure it's a good idea to create the distribution every time. The distribution object itself can keep state, so I think it'd be a better idea to take it in instead:

template <class Dist>
typename Dist::result_type random(Dist& dist)
    static auto& RandomEngine = randomEngine();
    return dist(RandomEngine);

And alter dist<T> to take arguments so that you could do:

auto d = dist<unsigned>(0, 15);
for (auto i = 0u; i < 16; ++i) 
    std::cout << random(d) << ' ';   

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