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From: David Abrahams (dave_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-05-26 07:45:41

"David Bergman" <davidb_at_[hidden]> writes:

> David Abrahams wrote:
>> > I agree with that, unless one replaces the
>> "Avantgarde/research" with
>> > "for experts." I.e., I want Boost to remain a choice for
>> C++ experts.
>> We never wanted to be the sole province of experts. We
>> always wanted widespread usage. If you want to be a member
>> of an exclusive "experts" club this is the wrong place to find it.
> I do not want to be a member of an "experts" club, I want a set of tools
> that actually fit a highly experienced developer. It just might be that such
> a toolset would not fit the less experienced one. If Boost can fit the whole
> spectrum, great
> By the way, I think there indeed is a correlation between "make
> -k"/"bjam"-adaptable developers and those using the most complex portions of
> Boost.

I think you'd be surprised at how many even of the advanced Boost
developers don't really understand Boost.Build. It's most of us.
It's not just a question of what you could, theoretically, adapt to.
It's also a question of what you have time to learn.

For Boost developers, we have to make learning Boost.Build easier, but
it is still going to be a hump for them to get over. For everyone
else, the incentives are a bit lower -- we may need to provide other
means to that end.

>> > What I am saying is that it would not be unreasonable to expect
>> > the targeted developers to actually type 'bjam', and perhaps even
>> > set the proper environment variables.
>> It would be unreasonable for some of them. I've worked with quite
>> advanced and competent developers who are only comfortable in an
>> IDE.
> But they sure would be able to change one or two environment
> variables and type 'bjam', right?

Yes, but they really don't like it. And it doesn't fit into their
development model. It's uncomfortable, and thus a disincentive to
using Boost.

>> > I do not think we have to flirt with the masses
>> Too late ;-)
>> > - developers that would not use the facilities found in
>> Boost anyway
>> > - in order to position it better for incorporation into future C++
>> > standardizations.
>> Yes, we do. We need maximal adoption in order to be best
>> positioned for standardization. Not just to get the
>> libraries accepted, but also so they are really deserving of
>> standardization.
> The risk is that Boost will inevitably belong to those 50% of the
> C++ standard that is never touched by most developers, ever.

?? Boost will belong to some portion of the C++ standard ??
I have no clue what you're getting at.

> None of the "C++ experts" I have interviewed for employment has
> heard of the keyword 'typename' or used template template
> parameters, or used 'virtual' base classes.
> That does not mean that I will stop preaching Boostness for all C++
> developers I meet. Heck, I even try to promote Lambda and MPL, so
> you are probably right, Mr. Abrahams. Boost actually might help
> reunifying C++ again, instead of constituting two languages, one for
> MFC:ers (I have developed a lot of MFC apps myself, so do not take
> the label literally) and one for "experts", which it does today,

Well, I hope so, anyway. That's what good libraries *should* do.

Dave Abrahams
Boost Consulting

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