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From: Matthew Austern (austern_at_[hidden])
Date: 2002-03-07 13:28:56

"Moore, Paul" wrote:
> This raises a question. As the author of the rational number library, I
> didn't particularly do anything, or get involved, regarding the inclusion of
> the library in this list. Don't get me wrong - I don't have a particular
> issue with this, inasmuch as I don't see that there's anything much I can
> contribute that others aren't able to handle better on my behalf. But I
> don't recall any particular feedback on the library - certainly nothing
> direct to me (I may have missed something in the list, as traffic these days
> is far too high for me to get through everything). Does this imply that
> there was no comment? Or that the committee accepted the library as it
> stands with wholehearted enthusiasm :-)?

It implies something a bit more odd: the committee had a fairly
long discussion about your library, but didn't actually look at
it! The Library Working Group decided to stipulate, for the purposes
of the discussion, that it was everything we could possibly want a
rational number library to be. We then asked: given that this is
the best rational number library we could ask for, do we want it?
That is, are rational numbers within the scope of what we're looking

I'd say the discussion tended toward a 'yes' answer, but some
people weren't sure; they thought rational numbers might be close
to the boundary between 'yes' and 'no', and wanted to see a few
more clearcut cases before making a decision.
> I do have some fairly strong views on the issue of keeping the library
> simple, for example. If the committee feels that some form of baroque
> template/specialisation/policy/traits mechanism is appropriate (to allow
> user-level tuning of overflow behaviour vs efficiency, for example) do I
> have any voice (beyond that of any random C++ user) to say "heck, no, that's
> not what I intended"?

I think everyone on the committee would listen seriously to the
original designer. People there are sensitive to the problem of
trying to change something they don't understand. But in the end,
decisions will be made by consensus of the Library Working Group
and the committee as a whole. I'd certainly encourage you to
come to meetings.

In practice, I don't think anyone on the committee is interested
in doing major redesign of libraries that get submitted. And in
particular, I don't think anyone wants rational numbers to be
complicated. The only change I've heard anyone propose is from
Jay Zipnick, who wants to include functions to convert to and
from floating-point numbers with a specified precision.


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