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From: Reid Sweatman (drunkardswalk_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-06-04 01:20:31

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: boost-bounces_at_[hidden]
>> [mailto:boost-bounces_at_[hidden]] On Behalf Of David B. Held
>> Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2004 9:13 PM
>> To: boost_at_[hidden]
>> Subject: [boost] Re: Re: Boost Mathematicians
>> "Reid Sweatman" <drunkardswalk_at_[hidden]> wrote in
>> message
>> [...]
>> I'd say (speaking as a soi-disant mathematician) you also need to find
>> ways to overcome the perception that "other languages do it faster
>> and/or more accurately." [...]
> And that's not the case I would make in this scenario. I'd say that it
only makes sense to port all that code from other languages if C++ offers
compelling reasons to do so. Just because it can be "just as fast" or "just
as accurate" doesn't mean that we should invest all this time in it. Isn't
it possible to call a FORTRAN library from C++?
> There are many other languages that offer this feature or that feature
better than C++. But at the end of the day, I have to say that C++ is the
right choice for a lot of projects because of factors other than speed or
size. And by that I mean things like installed code base, user support,
platform support, etc. The fact that people have been writing scientific e
in FORTRAN pretty much since the language was invented means that there is a
huge installed base of tools for working with it. These are the kinds of
factors I have in mind when I question whether C++ is the most appropriate
language for this type of work. Yes, we surely *can* reinvent the wheel.
But is it cost-effective? And isn't Boost all about *not* having > to
reinvent the wheel?
> For most libraries in Boost, I can see a clear and obvious benefit from
providing that library in C++. But when it comes to algorithms, it is much
easier to separate the interface from the >implementation, so it seems that
we should at least consider simply providing
> C++ wrappers for implementations that exist in other languages.
> If there are clear benefits from reimplementing everything in C++, I'm all
for it. I just think it's worthwhile to look at all the angles before
diving in.

Sure, I agree. The motivating influence, I'd say, would be to have such a
thing in the C++ STL spec, as that's the raison d'etre for Boost to begin
with. If it's already out there, freely available in some other language,
and there's no reason for wanting it in the spec, then sure, don't do it.
Question is, is all of that true? And would it be of value to have it
incorporated into the language spec? From my standpoint, yes. Others may
not agree.


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