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From: Hubert Holin (Hubert.Holin_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-04-15 08:08:33

Somewhere in the E.U., le 15/04/2003


In article <AHEJIHEOOOBMJPAGPLIPOEFGDNAA.boost_at_[hidden]>,
 "Paul A. Bristow" <boost_at_[hidden]> wrote:

> C compatibility is deemed very highly desirable by many, even BS Himself!

      No disagreament here.

> Even if a C++ exceptional version is better as well as more Politically
> Correct.

      There is a question of balance, obviously. Would we be happy if we
only had C strings? Being able to invoque a C library should not
preclude the creation of a (more suitable) C++ one. In the present case,
is it realy worth it to do more than rubber stamp C99's libraries
(inclusion by reference), if the philosophy which would underline C++'s
libraries would ignore the many advances of our languages?

> But there may be more than one way to achieve that, and any case, for most
> functions the hard bit is the algorithm, its size, speed, accuracy, accuracy
> at
> limits, and testing.

      Balance again. The C math libraries are mostly one-size-fits-all
kind of things. Why not say we just included (by reference) C's math
libraries and mandated (in a new namespace) C++ libraries where more
control could be exercised (extremely precise but crawling versus
lightning fast but sloppy, for instance)?

> There seems to an argument that using templates & exceptions will make it
> less
> likely to become a C++ Standard. It may be regrettable but true.
> So I would not discourage you at all. But do look at the prior art first.

      Agreed, prior art is a must.

      Discouraging me is another matter. Why should I go ahead with an
implementation? If there is not the remotest possibility of it being
standardized, and even worse if it could hamper standardization of
usefull tools, there would be no point in going forward. There is no
need for a proof-of-concept if it is known the concept is already
dismissed. If there is standardization aroud C-like libraries, the
commercial outfits will see to it that there are implementations, which
would most likely not be based on mine. As for the free platforms, what
benefit would they derive from implementations I would propose, if they
knew it would not be standard (and most likely not complete before a
long time, as I can only implement so many functions in my vanishing
spare time, and I certainly lack the perpective a full academic team
could provide)? Would anybody find that work usefull?

      So, again I must ask, is someone interested in what I could put
forward, or should I just forget it all?

> Moshier's Cephes is the best C implementation (and best book) I have found
> (but
> unsuitable licence), but there are many contributions in F*****N which
> actually
> work well (and perhaps better).
> NIST have an on-going project to update A&S too (but a book, not code).

      Yes, I am monitoring their progress, thru their public website.

> Paul
> PS Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistics could indeed usefully be added.
> Paul A Bristow, Prizet Farmhouse, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 8AB UK
> +44 1539 561830 Mobile +44 7714 33 02 04
> Mobile mailto:pabristow_at_[hidden]
> mailto:pbristow_at_[hidden]


   Bon courage

         Hubert Holin

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