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From: Beman Dawes (beman_at_[hidden])
Date: 2000-11-16 11:29:17

At 10:48 PM 11/15/2000 +0100, Jens Maurer wrote:

>> 3_
>> binary could be made a bit portable...
>This would be a portable_binary_writer then.
>Hm... I dimly remember that we had some portable integers in boost,
>but I can't find them now. Beman?

IIRC, Mark Borgerding, Darin Adler, and I all discussed portable binary
integer classes we use in our own work. They range from minimalist to much
more complete, big endian only to both big and little endian. Some people
think that portable integer classes should act like full-fledged arithmetic
objects, others (or at least me) see them as representation holders useful
for I/O but to be converted to built-in types for any arithmetic
operations. Beyond data portability, maximum code portability requires such
classes be POD's and that argues for minimalist rather than maximalist
designs, IMO. Still other people viewed the need in terms of operations on
streams, without a need for actual objects.

Although there was no consensus on those kinds of design questions, there
did seem to be consensus by those who had used them that portable binary
integer classes are very useful or even essential for lots of practical

It would be really nice if someone good at sifting through disparate
requirements would put together a proposal broad enough to meet multiple
people's needs but narrow enough not to focus on what is basically a pretty
simple need.

Moving beyond integers, specifies
portable formats for other data types. Personally, I'd be happy with
integers, at least as a start.


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