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From: Beman Dawes (bdawes_at_[hidden])
Date: 2001-11-14 09:48:14

Various Boost libraries were proposed to the C++ standards committee's
Library Working Group (LWG) at the Redmond meeting for inclusion in the
upcoming Library Technical Report (TR). What follows is my recollection of
the reaction by the LWG to the Rational Number proposal.

The only real technical issue I can remember being mentioned was a question
as to why the design had chosen eager rather than lazy evaluation. None of
the Boost people present could remember. Assuming rational numbers are
decided to be "in scope" for the standard (see below), the proposal will
need to add more rationale for design decisions.

Most of the discussion was on the question of whether or not rational
numbers are within the scope of the TR and next standard. A number of the
LWG members seemed to be in the position of Bill Plauger, who said "I'm on
the fence on this one."

The problem has nothing to do with the Boost rational number proposal
itself, but rather that while the committee has some specific library needs
they would like to see met, and some disqualifiers to weed out unsuitable
libraries, the primary general rule for determining if a proposal is "in
scope" seems to be to ask "How useful is this?" (and possibly "how hard is
it for a user to do it themselves?"). "How useful" is a pretty subjective

Those present could identify several real-world uses rational numbers, but
not an overwhelming number. It is possible that by polling users enough
could could be found to push rational over the top. But that just
sidesteps the bigger problem: the committee does not have an overall vision
for the scope of the library.

[I'll post some of the above on the LWG reflector to see if the committee
can firm up their notion of scope.]



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