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From: Vladimir Prus (ghost_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-04-07 01:33:13

Pavol Droba wrote:

>> Ok, let me rephrase. You're writing boost::http_proxy library and want to
>> make it customizable via program_options. So you need to provide function
>> 'get_options_descriptions'. What will the function return? If there's
>> only one options_descriptions class, there's no question. If there are
>> two versions, then which one do you return? No matter what you decide,
>> the main application might need to do conversions just because it either
>> needs unicode or does not need it.
> Well, the http library have two options. Either it can be char_type
> independent or it would simply accept only char* variants. Given the case
> of http library, later will be probably the case because it is quite
> domains specific library.

Who knows? If http library allows to make POST request, then it needs to
accept unicode string for the request data.

> I see that we are generaly arguing, whether program_options library domain
> is generic enough to support natively char and wchar_t (and be templated)
> or if it is enough to provide an interface via conversions and support
> only one encoding internaly.

Actually, the question I'm trying to answer is somewhat different. Using two
version will inevitable increase code size for library or client
applications. It will also somewhat complicate implementation. Using one
version will decrease performance. I believe that the decrease in
performance won't be noticed by the users so single version is better, and
would like to know if there are issues I've missed.

> I'm in favor of the first approach.
> The library works with various sources of informations and its purpose is
> to restructure the information from these sources into something more
> usable. I would assume for such a utility, that information passed on
> input has the same encoding and format as the information on the output.

Sometimes, information on the output is not string, but just 'int', so it
has no encoding. In case where the information on the output is string, I
plan that it will have the same encoding as was passed on the input.

> From the nature of the library it seems, that it might be possible to
> avoid unnecessary conversion into some intermediate encoding.

Is there anything wrong about conversion, except for speed?

> Another association might be a container. The library is a kind container.
> It parses the input and provides a conainer-like interface for the
> information stored there. I find it natural, that the container uses the
> same encoding for its internals as it provides in the external interface.

The problem with this analogy is that variables_map is heterogenous
container: it stores values of different types. So, if it can store values
of both std::string and std::wstring it appears that you need some

>> And why an existing operator>> which works for istream only should be
>> fixed to support wistream, if some other option need unicode support?
> I don't understand this point.

You have 'class Font' and operator>> which works for istream only. However
you try to declare option of this type in options_description<wchar_t>.
This should cause instantination of some code which extracts 'Font' from
wistream, and there's no suitable operator>>.

>> Some of the conversions are unavoidable. E.g. if you have unicode-enabled
>> library, you'd still need to accept ascii input (because you can't expect
>> that all input sources are unicode -- main in Linux is never unicode).
>> If you want to support legacy operator>> you'd need conversion to ascii.
> I'm not a linux expert. I'm mainly working on windows. If I decide to use
> unicode, I have whole api in the unicode without any need for conversions.
> Actualy in the project I'm working on now, I encountered a need for
> conversion only once. I'm using date_time library and there was no support
> for the wide strings at the time. Fortuntely it is fixed now :)

In fact, I would not be surprised if char* functions in windows just convert
input into unicode and call wide versions ;-)

- Volodya

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