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From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-11-27 14:00:01

Peter Dimov wrote:
> Robert Ramey wrote:
>> Changing the names a little bit for clarity, I always anticipated
>> archive developers would use something like the following:
>> template<class T>
>> void save(boost::hpc_archive &ar, const std::valarray<T> & t...)
>> {
>> const unsigned int count = t.size();
>> ar << count;
>> save_array(ar, get_data(t),t.size());
>> }
>> This would apply the save_array enhancement to all classes derived
>> from hpc_archive. In fact I would expect that this is the way people
>> are doing it now.
> This doesn't work well for several reasons. First, the static type of
> ar is hpc_archive, so hpc_archive must be a polymorphic archive base,
> and this is not desirable since it's High Performance.

The motivating use case for this discussion has been a benchmark
which uses save_array to replace 1000000000 invocations
of save_binary which write one byte each with one invocation
of save_binary to write 100000000 bytes. I doubt that the
overhead related to one call through a virtual function table
will be very significant here.

Second, its not clear that it will always need to be a virtual
function Actually I was thinking that the default implementation
of save_array for hpc_oarchive would be just to invoke

Any derived classes - e.g. MPI_oarchive or whatever
would implement there own versions. So one would have

template<class T>
void save(boost::MPI_archive &ar, const std::valarray<T> & t...)
    // assuming save_binary isn't a good implementation
   // use another one.

Since the serialization libary templates make calls through
the most derived class, I would expect the appropriate
function to be invoked without going through any
virtual function table.

> Second, if you add an overload for std::vector:
> template<class T>
> void save(boost::hpc_archive &ar, const std::vector<T> & t...)
> the version in the Serialization library will take precedence since
> it's an exact match for the archive argument, and the overload above
> requires a derived to base conversion.

Hmmm the version in the serialization library looks like:

> template<class Archive, class T>
> void save(Archive &ar, const std::vector<T> & t...)

I was pretty sure that a conversion from a derived class to a base
would take precedence of the more general case - Now I'm not
so sure. I double check this.

> Even if it did work, I don't see in which circumstances a class
> author would like to _not_ take advantage of the save_array
> enhancement.

LOL, its impossible to predict things like this. We can't think
of everything ahead of time.

>Ideally, he should just call save_array in save, without
> restricting it to a specific set of archives.
> I don't see what you gain by denying him this opportunity

I know it seems attractive and its just "One Nore Small
Little Thing" and if it were the "Last Thing" I might be
able to see it. But its actually the "First Thing" of this

> - assuming that it can be provided without negative
> consequences for the current code base

All the current archives would have to be modified in some way
to add this function and its default implementation.

>or existing archive formats.

that would remain to be seen. Verifying this could be difficult.

Robert Ramey

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