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From: Beman Dawes (bdawes_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-11-05 15:38:51

At 01:09 PM 11/5/2003, Paul A. Bristow wrote:

>Is now the time to (re-)start discussing MORE 'special functions' like
>ones that I prepared (but did not submit) a proposal for 'math function
>essential for statistics' ?
>My previous proposal and a brief introduction attached.
>One possible starter might be to approach Stephen Moshier, author of a
>popular C library which does most of the numerical work, to get his
>permission to re-skin his code - mainly renaming functions to conform
>to std conventions. However, if the C men are going to use it, I am
>unclear of the requirements to get compatibility.
>Walter Brown was very keen not to try to introduce too much in his choice

>of functions (flawed IMHO) for fear of frightening the vendors who would
>frighten the TR. If we have at least a Boost free-issue library, neither
>group need have fear, but vendors would be free to improve on Moshier's
>code if they can/wish.
>Views on if and how to progress this?

Design the details of a Boost library to mesh with the standard library TR
special functions (including changes made last week, and any future
tweaks.) Then submit it to Boost. I really don't see any other choice at
the moment.

One of the reasons Walter's proposal was accepted by the LWG was that he
has been patiently working with the LWG for several years, building support
for numeric computing needs, and assuring that there were people available
to deal with numerics issues as they arose. Remember the committee's
unhappy experience with valarray, where the numerics people proposed
something and then disappeared, leaving the committee with no numerics
people to deal with the fallout. People who think C++ needs more numerics
library components need to seriously consider joining the committee. Walter
Brown and Marc Paterno have done a first class job of getting numerics
issues on the radar screen, but they are only two people. Even one more
numericist would help push that agenda.


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