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From: Edward Diener (eldiener_at_[hidden])
Date: 2006-10-09 14:49:10

Robert Ramey wrote:

> The idea that making a library interface "standard" confers a sort
> of legitimacy that says: "a library that implements this interface
> would be a good (or necessary) thing to have" has some
> validity. But having a commitee say it has to have this thing
> to be considered a comforming implementation seems to
> be superfluous given the presumption of conforming language
> translator and reference implementation which conforms
> to legal C++.

I think you are arguing from an emotional perspective which feels that
there is no necessity to have standard libraries as long as libraries
are implemented in a C++ standard conforming way. The minimalist
approach feels good to you.

It is a nice ideal but in practical use fails because of the reality of
compiler conformance. I too would love to have all compilers 100%
conformant to the C++ standard. In an ideal world this would be so, and
therefore a library which is 100% conformant would automatically work
with any library which was 100% conformant, and therefore specifying a
standard library would be a moot point, as long as there were a single
conforming library which one could use. Unfortunately that world does
not even approximately exist in C++, and to think it does, and therefore
there is no need to have a C++ standard library, as opposed to 100%
conformant C++ libraries, such as a 100% conformant reference
implementation of the current C++ standard library, or of 100%
conformant third party libraries like Boost, is just wishful thinking.

I want to also point out to you that even implementations which are,
supposedly, 100% conformant to the particular language, such as Sun's
Java JRE or Microsoft's .NET implementation, ship automatically with a
set of libraries which may be called the standard library for that
"language". Do you think that they should not, but rather say that there
is a bunch of libraries out here somewhere, presumably on the Internet,
and if you the programmer want to use any of them you can just download
them and set them up accordingly ? Even in that world of supposedly
perfect conformance I think you will find that many will argue that
having a set of libraries deemed standard is an advantage to the
programmer which must use the "language" in creating other libraries and

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