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From: joel de guzman (djowel_at_[hidden])
Date: 2002-01-12 03:19:03

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Abrahams" :

> > So why propagate the mistake? Why do we need a smart-pointer
> > with iterator/array semantics when we have iterators and containers.
> > Vector not efficient enough? Why not just use a small and fast buffer
> > class with array semantics and the efficiency of fixed C malloced
> > arrays? Popular demand does not justify another mistake.
> Just to be clear here: I think it's a GOOD THING overall that pointers are
> iterators.
> I don't, however, think that array access integrates well with generalized
> random acess iterators because you either have to restrict their power or
> return a value from operator[] in some cases (which is what the standard
> does). Since operator[] is basically redundant anyway (you can always use
> *(p + n)), I'd prefer if it were left out of the requirements for random
> access iterator rather than forcing a surprisingly suboptimal
> implementation. I wouldn't want to just require a reference return from op[]
> because that would rule out many useful iterators (e.g. counting_iterator).
> Do we need a storage-owning random-access iterator? I don't, today. Somebody
> probably does: it provides value beyond separated iterators and storage
> ownership. Does it have to be in boost? Probably not. I showed how to put
> one together on top of a shared array with iterator adaptors in just a few
> lines of code. I think if we provide an easy way to build a solution it's
> probably enough.

Pardon my limited imagination but what does a smart-pointer-array-iterator
provide that a separated container + iterator cannot provide? And why is
the union a good thing? I might be missing something that was discussed
already in this thread, but I cannot imagine incrementing a smart pointer
which is the most basic operation of an iterator. Some operations simply
does not make sense. I read Andrei's post that many operations cannot be
allowed. How then can we categorize this kind of iterator/pointer/array hybrid?


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