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From: Jens Maurer (Jens.Maurer_at_[hidden])
Date: 2000-08-29 17:57:32

Some more comments...

Still more to come (hopefully with more code inspection) tomorrow.


 - I like the plugin concept for internal properties (docs 4.1.2).
It would be cool to be able to specify more complex types for the
"T" plugin template parameter, for example a "struct" or list type.
Imagine solving the all-pairs shortest path problem by running
Dijkstra's algorithm several times on the same graph. For each
run, you provide a new start vertex and a property accessor which
indexes a different element in the "distance" array of the vertexes.
The edge weight is fixed and can be re-used. (You could even run
these in parallel in different threads if you provide separate
temporary storage.) For this to work, I would have to provide
appropriate property accessor function (put/get), but this seems
less syntactically convoluted and more flexible than nesting several
levels of plugin templates. For the "struct" case, some template
helpers using pointer-to-members as value parameters can help a lot
here. Can this be done?

 - The vertex_property_accessor<> has ::type and ::const_type
members. The ::const_type member seems superfluous. If the
first template argument is "const Graph", it's obviously a
graph which cannot be changed (thus, a read-only accessor),
otherwise it's a read-write accessor.

 - The names get_vertex_property() and get_edge_property() sound
like the value of the property is retrieved there. However, only
the accessor (i.e. the meta-level) is retrieved. What about
vertex_property_accessor() and edge_property_accessor()? Too long?

 - I notice that Dietmar's original idea of "algorithm iterators"
has been abandoned and replaced with visitors.

 - I think that the member function interface for a visitor is
inherently algorithm-specific. You can aim for a classification in
different STL-like "concepts", but a unique UserVisitor requirements
seem too simplistic to me. For example, kruskal_minimum_spanning_tree
doesn't even allow for user-defined callbacks, although I would
certainly like to be able to add some nice graph animation facility
which shows me how the algorithm works.


4.1.2: "arbitrary number of properties can be attached to the same
graph": probably add a reference to the template nesting
restrictions of the user's compiler. How many template nesting
levels are eaten per plugin level?

4.1.2: "mapS", "vecS" etc. seem strange: Are they explained anywhere?

4.1.2: distance_type and weight_type are coming out of nowhere when
using vertex/edge_property_accessor<...>. Should that be *_tag ?

4.1.2: There are several levels of indirection in the property
accessor interface. For the first-time reader, it's difficult
to cut through the maze. A few introductory remarks regarding
the intended dimension of flexibility may be in order. Put
differently, why is the given property interface so nice?

4.1.2, at the end: "propety" -> "property" (in the last example)

4.2.2: The example should say that it assumes that the graph is

4.2.3 has some of the discussion (in particular, the introduction)
of property accessors I'm msising in 4.1.2. Also, 4.2.3 repeats
some of the stuff from 4.1.2.

4.3.1: It's a bit late to explain vecS at this point.

4.3.1: In the example program, "typedef Graph::vertex_descriptor"
should not be used, there's a graph_traits<> instead. At least that's
what all the other sections of the documentation say.

4.3.2: There is no need to typedef OutputIterator; I would just
use the helper function "front_inserter" in the call to

4.3.3, first code snippet: Other sections of the documentation seem
to prefer edge_property_accessor<..., weight_tag> and get_edge_property().
There seems to be a different way to get an edge weight property accessor
as well. If so, I find that confusing and would like to stick with
the general thing. The specific stuff is redundant and should be removed
from the library.

5.3.1: Notation: typo "u is an objects ..."

Jens Maurer

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