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From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-09-04 23:27:36

.>> 4. The documentation says that you can write your freestanding
>>> serialize() function in namespace boost::serialization, with the
>>> strong implication that it will work even on compilers that
>>> support ADL. But it won't work unless boost::serialization is an
>>> associated namespace of one of the arguments, as demonstrated by
>>> the following program:
>>> namespace me
>>> {
>>> class X {};
>>> }
>>> namespace boost { namespace serialization
>>> {
>>> template <class T>
>>> int call_serialize(T const& x)
>>> {
>>> serialize(x);
>>> return 0;
>>> }
>>> void serialize(me::X);
>>> }}
>>> int y = boost::serialization::call_serialize(me::X());
> In case it wasn't 100% obvious, the above fails to compile on a
> conforming compiler.

Well it wasn't obvious to me. Its still not. It just compiled on my comeau
4.3 without error. I always thought that compiler was conforming. Oh well.

Maybe no one has every had an issue with this as it is customary and natural
to declare and/or define the

template<class Archive>
void serialize(Archive &ar, me::X, const unsigned int version){

in the same header where X itself is declared and/or defined. Also the body
of the serialize function typically will refer only to member data and
functions. But the truth is I would have to delve into this a lot deeper to
see what's going on here.

>>> As far as I can tell, there's no requirement that any of the
>>> arguments to serialize have boost::serialization as an associated
>>> namespace.
>> There isn't. And I don't think it's necessary. serialize(me::X) is
>> only called from within the namespace boost::serialization never
>> from anywhere out side this namespace. Hence, the serialize
>> function is found according to the rules of ordinary lookup.
> No, not in the example above it isn't, because serialize follows the
> definition of call_serialize.

As above its not clear to me that anyone ever does this.

> The set of candidates that can be found
> by ordinary lookup is fixed at the template's point of definition.

> You have introduced yet another header order dependency here. You
> don't need to experience the wailing and gnashing of teeth associated
> with that problem again, do you?

I'm getting used to it. Actually this would be much worse than the one
before. In my other infamous case, at least the compiler threw and #error
when the rule was violated. With two-phase lookup, the compiler silently
changes the program semantics when header order is changed.

>> If one's compiler supports ADL, then he can use a free function in
>> namespaces associated with the type being serialized. But it's not
>> a requirement
> I beg to differ. And the docs make it sound as though putting the
> functions in boost::serialization is the more portable of the two
> options.

Hmm - if one puts in the boost::serialization namespace it works except mayb
in cases such as that above. Its not clear to me that that is not a
contived example which never happens in practice. If one puts in the
namespace of the class being serialized - it depends upon ADL to function.
So my view is that putting it into boost::serialization is more portable.
In reality I suspect its not such an issue these days as most compilers seem
to support ADL.

>> I concede I've struggled with two-phase lookup and ADL so I'm
>> willing to be shown to be wrong about this.

> The example above demonstrates.

Hmm - I'm not convinced yet.

> Yes, I understand what the intent is. Actually, there is precedent
> for what you're trying to do, sorta. The Indiana proposal for
> concepts in C++0x
> (
> uses something called a "pseudo-signature" that looks very much like
> what you've written. However, there are special rules for reading and
> understanding pseudo-signatures. One way to make your specification
> formally complete would be to make sure that, when expressed according
> to the rules in that proposal, it says what you mean it to say. Then
> you can reference the proposal in the docs in case someone wants to
> understand the requirements on a formal level.

Well, I didn't know about this. But your explanation doesn't make sound
very easy to understand or use.

>>> What about the names of function and member template parameters?

What about about them? What is the question here?

>>> I know the answer to that one, but a novice might not.

What is the answer?

> Maybe. It's certainly not complete enough for someone like me to be
> sure of what it really means.

> :) I'm using it on some slides now and discovering just how many
> holes, anachronisms, and inaccuracies there are in it. Still, the
> basic approach is a good one.

> I don't actually think Bill Kempf's format results in particularly
> good docs. I used that approach for Boost.Python's reference and now
> I wish I hadn't. I think the Parameter library (admittedly much
> smaller) is much better.

Then someone should update those pages. I've strived to do things in the
"boost" way to maximize the mental leverage to be gained from using an
established pattern. If we should use them we should have another model.
BTW, updating these pages ain't going to be that easy. Traditionally, C/C++
programs were fairly easy to describe with an interface for each class along
with notes regarding implementation semantics. Now with both class and
function templates the old patterns are not enough. I look forward to
seeing this improved.

Another great idea would be to tie concept checking into the "formal"
template documentation so that the code checks the documentation. A way too
ambitious idea but fun to consider.

>> As I said, I see this implementation section as A means to
>> fullfilling the basic requirement not as new requirements.
> You said that? Where?

Reference/Archive Class Reference/Implementation states in its opening

The Archive concept specifies the functions that a class must implement to
in order to be used to serialize Serializable types. The library implements
a family of archives appropriate for different purposes. This section
describes how they have been implemented and how one can implement his own
archive class.

That seems pretty clear to me that the are archives included model he
Archive concept. It would be easy to add that sentence

Robert Ramey

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