 # Boost :

From: Matthias Schabel (boost_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-02-16 14:49:33

> ( 1.0 * SI::meters + 1.0 * imperial::feet ) * ( 2.0 *
> CGS::centimeters + 1.0
> * imperial::feet )

I'm not proposing to allow heterogeneous addition where, as you point
out,
the result type is ambiguous. Multiplication/division don't have this
problem,

2.0 m cm + 1.0 m ft + 2.0 ft cm + 1.0 ft^2

which wouldn't be allowed due to the addition of different units. Any
quantity h
as a dimensional signature that consists (limiting the
discussion to physical units for simplicity) of the powers of the
various
dimensions. That is (calling length L, time T, and mass M)

L^2 M^-3 T

is a dimensional signature that could be represented all in SI:

m^2 kg^-3 s

or mixed SI and CGS

m cm kg^-1 g^-2 s
m cm kg^-2 g s

etc... As long as you can come up with an invertible one-to-one map
between
different heterogeneous units with identical dimensional signatures,
this is
OK.

> and other complex expressions. Pushing down a result type may be
> hard. If
> your result type is nautical::miles * imperial::miles, how do you
> decide
> which of the two branches needs to get the nautical::miles? And
> this is a
> relatively simple example.

Another issue, as Steven pointed out, is that it is harder to get a
nice syntax
in the case where you want a function that takes a dimension
signature but
doesn't care about the system (or systems) of units. That is, the
current
implementation, which requires that all fundamental units belong to one
system, lets you do this:

template<class System>
quantity<unit<System,energy_type> >
work(const quantity<unit<System,force_type> >& F,
const quantity<unit<System,length_type> >& dx)
{
return F*dx;
}

or even

template<class System1,class System2,class System3>
quantity<unit<System3,energy_type> >
work(const quantity<unit<System1,force_type> >& F,
const quantity<unit<System2,length_type> >& dx)
{
const quantity<unit<System3,force_type> > Fc(F);
const quantity<unit<System3,length_type> > dxc(dx);

return Fc*dxc;
}

when you allow units to be heterogeneous across systems, it becomes
difficult to implement this...suggestions are welcome... Maybe this
is too
much of a hairball to try to deal with.

Matthias