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From: Dan Nuffer (dnuffer_at_[hidden])
Date: 2000-10-04 15:22:46

Jeff Squyres wrote:
> Greetings.
> I was introduced to boost from my labmates Jeremy Siek and Rich Lee.
> I thought that several of the libraries in boost would be able to help out
> in my work (including GGCL :-), so today I downloaded I
> was surprised by a few things; Jeremy and Rich told me to post to the list
> to ask about them. I did a quick check through the mail archives and
> didn't see anything about this; forgive me if this has already been
> covered -- please point me in the right direction and I'll go read... :-)
> ------
> 1. The unzips itself into the current directory (.) -- not
> into a subdirectory. This is typically considered fairly anti-social
> behavior. Indeed, I unzipped in one of my source
> directories, realized what happened, grumbled about it, and then had to
> move all the extracted files and directories into their own subdirectory.
> --> RECOMENDATION: Have extract to its own subdirectory.
> 5. There does not appear to be a version number anywhere in boost.
> Version numbers are good for multiple reasons:
> a. They are very handy for end-users who don't follow the active
> development of a product -- they can easily tell when they need to
> download the next release.
> b. When you have multiple copies of a product installed in your tree,
> it is very handy to have the directory (or some file in that
> directory) say what version it is. Indeed, if you have multiple
> copies, how are you to know which one to use? Which one is "the
> latest version"? (This is really only relevant if the
> "libs" subdirectory isn't meant to be centralized, and everyone has
> their own copy)
> c. Chances are that the sysadmin or end user who installed boost won't
> remember what version they initially downloaded. GNU has
> more-or-less standardized the "name-number" directory name notation,
> such as "boost-1.0.3".
> d. When extracting from the distribution, it is social to not overlay
> an old [and presumably working] installation. i.e., as a sysadmin,
> I would want to install boost in a non-default directory first, test
> it out, and then make it the default only after I am sure that it
> works.
> --> RECOMENDATION: Add some kind of version number into boost.

I am a Linux user, and as an end user of boost, I would prefer to have
boost distributed in a .tar.gz file with the files in a versioned
subdirectory. e.g. The current version would be boost-1.18.0.tar.gz and
extract into boost-1.18.0. The reason I would prefer to have the
version on the extraction directory is to facilitate having multiple
versions on my system. e.g. I can extract 1.18.0 into
/usr/include/boost-1.18.0 and also have /usr/include/boost-1.17.0. I
then would create a symlink /usr/include/boost that points to the
current version. Also, if my code depends on a specific version of
boost, I can write #include <boost-1.17.0>

I think distributing a .zip file that doesn't extract to a subdirectory
is a good idea also, that is what Windows users expect from .zip files.

--Dan Nuffer

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