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From: Jeff Garland (jeff_at_[hidden])
Date: 2006-10-10 15:41:18

Rene Rivera wrote:
> John Maddock wrote:
>> I see his point in dealing with new compilers: say 10 years down the line
>> (being rather optimistic on how long lived your software will be :-) ), but
>> ask him how many of his current staff will still be around then to maintain
>> a bespoke version ? Sure, no one can make guarentees about third party
>> code, but remember that the chances of commercial produced - closed source -
>> code being supported over that kind of timescale is essentially nil: anyone
>> here remember OWL?
> Yes I remember OWL. But that probably only shows how old I am :-(
> The unfortunate aspect of all this talk about how logical it is for
> companies to use Boost libraries, is that it's logical. But the
> corporate world is rarely logical. And hence it takes great effort to
> move it in a logical direction from the bottom up.

I agree...there's alot of decisions that engineers consider silly. But again,
engineers are rarely running things. As I said earlier, one nervous lawyer
can create alot of trouble in the logic realm.

>> And finally, point your boss towards Adobe or SAP, if these big players are
>> using Boost, there's probably something in it :-)
> That is likely the biggest factor we can count on for people to use in
> convincing corporate management to use Boost libraries.

Actually, I consider it 'evolution in action'. Eventually the inefficient
companies (eg: those that ignore open source and try to build their own) will
be unable to compete against their competitors that don't waste their time
reinventing stuff. But this can take a very long time.

 From my perspective it's clear that C++ is losing ground to other languages
because the lack of 'standard libraries' provided. I've seen this discussion
go on inside more than one company. There's no doubt that large companies
embarking on expensive projects feel much more comfortable using tools that
are supported by multiple large companies (eg: Java supported by Sun, IBM, et.
al.). Multiple large vendors -- it's the safe choice, not necessarily the
best. With C++ there are multiple compiler vendors for most platforms. With
due respect to Boost Consulting, it's not the same as having IBM providing
support (no doubt it's actually better, but companies aren't interested in
better service, they're interested in companies with deep pockets that can
'make things right' if serious problems arise). So some companies have
problems with Boost b/c of this.

And sometimes b/c of customer requirements Boost isn't cheaper. As someone
already mentioned, in the US defense industry, where C++ is used extensively,
there are requirements about foreign sources that can create issues for using
Boost. Each line of code needs to be inspected, etc, etc. If it's in the
standard and from someone like MSFT/IBM then this has likely already been
done. So that saves time and money.

At the end of the story, it may be that the committee can never do enough
because languages like Java have libraries that are so extensive and so deeply
funded that C++ can never compete with volunteer labor. That said, I like to
think that by getting good libraries in the standard we can improve the life
of those programmers that can't use Boost. There's no reason why these
programmers should have to suffer just b/c their management doesn't get it or
there is some other restriction in their environment.


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