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From: David Abrahams (dave_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-12-06 17:48:06

"Alisdair Meredith" <alisdair.meredith_at_[hidden]> writes:

> David Abrahams wrote:
>> Good question.
>> ** what is GCC2 support? **
>> ** what would withdrawing it -- assuming we currently offer it --
>> mean for users? **
> Whay it would mean to me, without putting on any
> user/maintainer/whatever hat, is that the release manager takes it out
> the list of compilers that must pass regression tests before a new
> Boost distribution can be released.

IIUC, what that means is that it be allowed to regress: tests that
currently do not fail with GCC2 may start failing with the next
release. Is that the effect you are after?

> Current support means that OSL3 runs these tests during a release
> cycle so maintainers can track/fix bugs on a compiler they may not
> have installed, or approriately mark up the XML. It improves the
> chances of customers concerned about supporting that compiler
> submitting patches.
> I have an implicit assumption that if a compiler is 'supported'
> during a release cycle, library maintainers will accept and process
> workarounds for compilers they do not have access to themselves,
> when submitted.

Yeah, but they generally will do that for any compiler if adding the
workaround doesn't amount to a major rewrite of the library.

See, IME the cost of maintaining existing workarounds is next to
nothing. It's the cost of adding workarounds for new library
features, or for reimplementing workarounds when a library is
substantially rewritten, that really hurts.

I would have liked it if some of the newer libraries
(e.g. Serialization, Range, ...) had been developed without vc6/7
support, because that support forces compromises in the quality of
their interfaces. I wonder if Boost declaring those compilers
"officially not supported" would have prevented the authors of those
libraries from trying to support them anyway. If so, I can see some
use in such an official declaration.

Dave Abrahams
Boost Consulting

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