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From: Beman Dawes (beman_at_[hidden])
Date: 2000-10-30 11:22:42

The C++ committee had a productive meeting in Toronto last week, finishing
work on the first Technical Correction (TC) to the C++ Standard.

The committee also took the first administrative step toward starting work
on an ISO Type 2 Technical Report on C++ Standard Library extensions. This
type of report is non-normative, so doesn't affect the current standard in
any way. Vendors are not required to support a TR. But it is a clear
statement of intent to include the extensions in the next standard, and
gives the C++ community a firm set of specs for those who want to get
started sooner rather than later.

Because the administrivia involved discussions and votes in both the
library working group and the full committee, we can now see which way the
wind is blowing. Here is my unofficial take:

* The committee is committed to the continued stability of the current
standard. That's why the TR is going to be type 2 (non-normative), and why
it only includes the library, not the language core.

* Schedule is still uncertain, but it will be six months to a year before
substantial technical work starts. Administrative groundwork will be done
during that time. Work on defect reports will continue. The library
working group will handle both defects and extensions, but will give
priority to defect reports.

* To be considered for inclusion, a library extension is going to have to
meet various currently undecided criteria, but that criteria will almost
certainly include:

     - A well-formed proposal with specific proposed text.

     - Prior art; there should be existing practice.

     - Proof of concept; there should be a reference implementation.

     - Little or no negative impact on existing code.

Boost was specifically mentioned in the discussion as an example of the
kind of libraries which would be considered.


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