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From: Geoff Leyland (geoff.leyland_at_[hidden])
Date: 2002-07-25 07:02:31


I'm new to Boost, so please excuse me if I bring up any stuff that's
been dealt with ages ago: I've been reading the list for a while, but
not forever, and it's a *lot* of volume. There's a few questions I'd
like to ask, and things to propose. I've only got the released Boost
1.28, so if things have changed a lot since then, please excuse me again.

1) I've got some very crude classes for something I call "run-time
structures" (naming things isn't my strong point). These are for
handling, well, structures that get created at run time - like one has
in MATLAB or Python or so on. If x is one I can go:

x("a.b") = 2.0;
x("a.c.d") = "hello";

if (x("a.c.d").isa<string>())
   std::cout << x("a.c.d").be<string>();

and so on. It throws semi-informative exceptions for wrong types and
has a nasty little type-promotion mechanism so that, for example, char
*'s are stored as strings. It's *very* rudimentary, and it only does
what I need it to do. However, what I need it to do is slowly getting
more complex. In the long run I can dream of it reading these in from
text files, which shouldn't be too hard, or changing the underlying
representation to match MATLAB's or Python's (if that's what you're
trying to talk to).

I looked quite hard on the web for some existing code to do this before
I started, but didn't find any. Surely it must have been done a million
times before (for all those scripting languages.). Did I not look hard

Anyway, it uses a class (called "object" - told you I sucked at names)
for storing its members in. On seeing "any" in Boost, I thought I would
be much better off using that (using nice libraries is better than my
cruft any day), but looking at any.hpp, I can see that the approaches
are a bit different. My object is the equivalent of the holder in any,
I think. I also see on the list that any and variant (though I've not
got variant in boost 1.28) are being redefined.

So, two questions :
Would anyone working on any and variant be interested in what I've got
(it's really not much) or even just my opinion on what would be nice for
their any/variant to do? I'd certainly be interested in getting recent
copies of any and variant.
Would anyone else be interested in "run-time structures" as described
above? If so, what's a better name? An even better question is: does
this exist anywhere else?

2) I noticed at the end of random library documentation that Jens Maurer
asks for Quasi-random sequence generators. I've got a Sobol sequence
generator (not a big deal, they're very short), but I also found (from a
source far more reputable than me) starting data for up to 1111
dimensions. Would anyone be interested in this being added to the
random library?

If you reply, please reply to me as well as the list : I'm only getting
the digest.


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