
Boost : 
From: Jason D Schmidt (jd.schmidt_at_[hidden])
Date: 20020917 19:55:47
Hi,
I'm kind of new to Boost (I've used it a little, I've been on the
developers' list for a few months, but I haven't submitted any code), so
I'm
wondering about what direction Boost is going regarding math & numerics.
I
see a number of directories/files in the CVS, like
math/special_functions/,
math/quaternion.hpp, math/octonion.hpp, mpl/, multiarray/, numeric/mtl/,
and numeric/ublas. I have a number of questions:
1. Will Boost add more special functions to make its library more
complete,
like Gamma functions, Bessel functions, Hermite functions, etc.?
2. What are the various roles of array.hpp, multiarray, mpl, mtl, and
uBLAS? Is uBLAS just for linear algebra, but multiarray more for data
analysistype things like slicing, elementwise operations (* /), and
applying things like integration, interpolation, ffts, etc.? What are
mpl &
mtl? Does mtl stand for Matrix Template Library? If so, why have two
linear algebra packages?
3. Would multiarray replace std::valarray<T>? If so, could valarray be
removed from the standard in favor of multiarray or something even
better?
4. Are Boost developers interested in adding more numerical support for
their array classes, like rootfinding, derivatives, integrals,
interpolation, curve fitting, solving differential equations, fourier
transforms, statistics?
I know there are a lot of great numerical packages for C++ (Blitz++, MTL,
&
more), and people can write their own from Numerical Recipes, but it
would
be really nice if some of it got into Boost. It would be advantageous
for
C++ users because Boost is peerreviewed, it would provide a single
source
for comp. sci. and numerical needs that seamlessly work together, and it
ensures that container classes (matrices, vectors, arrays of data) are
STLcompliant. Plus, it would be great to see more numerical support in
the
next standard of C++. C++ would gain a lot of users in the science &
engineering community if it added more numerical support either in Boost
or
in the next standard. Finally, C++ and its Boost extensions really
promote
wellwritten code and good software engineering, which, from my
experience
are sorely lacking in the scientific & engineering community.
Jason Schmidt
jd.schmidt_at_[hidden]
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