From: Jason Earl (Jason_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-05-25 09:31:47
You've probably come out with a worst case scenario with regards to
that attempt to compile things, and I do remember a few things being a
pain initially when compiling for the first time. However, it didn't
take long for me to make intelligent guesses on what to do to get
things working, and it was only minutes before I managed to get things
working smoothly when I last tried. This is certainly a lot less
painless than a some of the builds I've done on Linux for web stuff.
I think a lot of Windows users are too used to things just working out
of the box, and give up if things don't work like that.
As for understanding what targets are etc, I think most developers will
know what targets are. There is a fine level between displaying too
much info and not displaying enough. I get increasingly annoyed by
Windows apps that do the complete opposite and don't tell you anything
when something goes pear shaped. It becomes even harder to pin point an
error then as you have no info to go by. Least when you get errors with
building you can copy and paste into google and normally get answers if
you don't understand what the reason is behind the error.
Despite all the errors people might get with installing, Boost does
have this excellent mailing list where people can quickly get the help
Maybe it would be good to have some control over build verbosity (there
probably already is some, I just haven't looked yet), Maybe logging the
build info to a file would be better and then logging errors, messages
etc to the screen (and maybe a separate) log file.
You really can't complain at long error messages. After all C++
programmers should be used to them, they happen all of the time with
template based code.
On 25 May 2005, at 14:46, Hendrik Schober wrote:
> Caleb Epstein <caleb.epstein_at_[hidden]> wrote:
>> I really think the Getting Started guide is more than adequate, and is
>> concise and easy to follow. There are gigantic yellow numbers next to
>> the important steps. [...] really how much more hand-holding
>> does one need?
> OK, so I went to the that guide, downloaded boost
> 1.32, downloaded bjam.exe, unzipped everything,
> and typed, IMHO according to the guide,
> C:\Temp\Download\boost\boost_1_32_0>..\bjam.exe bjam
> "-sTOOLS=VC71_ROOT" stage
> After quite a pause ("what's it doing now?") it
> spit out a lengthy messagethat that I have an
> incorrect configuration. It couldn't find Python.
> Mhmm. Do I need this? Will it even work without
> Python? (I know it will. But not from the guide.)
> Next thing it emits is
> don't know how to make bjam
> Yikes! What does that mean? It surely doesn't mean
> it wants to compile/link bjam as I am /running/ it
> already, right? Scary.
> Right after that, it emitted
> don't know how to make -sTOOLS=VC71_ROOT
> Now I am really really baffled. I mean, I pasted
> that line from the guide (except for replacing
> "gcc" with what I thought the guide says I need
> to replace it with). Doesn't that thing even
> recognise its options?
> Finally, it advices
> Oh good. So I'll wait. Further:
> ...found 4471 targets...
> ...updating 1123 targets...
> ...can't find 2 targets...
> Um, what are targets? Why does it only "update"
> a quarter of them? Why wouldn't it find 2 of them?
> I read the guide again. Damn! I messed this up! I
> need to pass "vc", not "VC71_ROOT"! The guid is a
> bit terse in that area...
> C:\Temp\Download\boost\boost_1_32_0>..\bjam.exe bjam "-sTOOLS=vc"
> Alas, same result. Excep that now it
> don't know how to make -sTOOLS=vc
> Well, it says I should be patient, so I just let
> it do whatever it does.
> There really are a few libs in "bin" at the end.
> And the thing says
> ...updated 1120 targets...
> Mhmm. Three missing. It might have even emitted an
> error message. No way I'm going to wade through
> 3-4k lines of messages to find those three.
> Now I would need to link to this stuff. But where
> exactly do I need to point my linker at? The guide
> has something on automatic linking on Windows, but
> I can't find where in the folder hierarchy this
> assumes I'm anchored.
> Still long ways to go before I can start to work.
> Add to this that, as with all new stuff, I will
> still stumble more later while using this, that I
> would have to write a usage guide for my fellows
> if I want to use this (hey, some of them aren't as
> good reading English, they will never be able to
> follow this guide!), and that we need to figure
> this out for another handful of platforms -- and I
> start to think if it really is worth all the hassle.
> Conclusion: I have seen smoother installations on
> Windows, I have installed easier to build libs, and
> I have seen guides that weren't written for mere
> insiders. I'm no command-line afficinado, I can
> barely read makefiles, and I am used to having a
> GUI and online-help for every option.
> Call me dumb, but I am one of millions of potential
> boost users.
> We use boost since years ago, when I threw out all
> home-grown smart pointers and replaced them by
> boost's. So we /know/ boost is worth quite a lot
> of hassle and we even use one library that's not
> headers-only. (However, this one -- regex -- comes
> with a makefile and this we knew how to integrate
> into the build.)
> But if this was my first look at boost, I'd delete
> it right away. Seriously, on this platform are
> millions of C++ users that only heard very vague
> rumours of C++ being standardized -- if they heard
> about it at all. Those don't see much benefit it
> smart pointers, consider the MPL to be black art,
> and can't be bothered if it isn't really easy to
> SpamTrap_at_[hidden] is never read
> I'm Schobi at suespammers dot org
> "Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving"
> Terry Pratchett
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