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From: Andrey Semashev (andysem_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-06-09 16:20:30


Friday, June 8, 2007, 8:31:55 PM, you wrote:

> Hello Andrey,

> That feature is there on the future work section, but
> for the moment being I don't really know when/if is going to
> be provided. The main problem with documenting the internal
> interface of indices is that I'd be bound to freeze it, and
> as it happens I've had ocassionally the need to modify the
> interface or augment it to support new funcionalities or
> optimize some aspects.

It's a pity to hear that. Although I share your worries about
interface modification problems, I believe that as all major STL-style
indices are covered in the lib, the main direction of its evolution is
to allow users to extend it. You won't be able to provide indices for
every real life case, though you will cover quite a number of them.

I'm not familiar with the implementation, but I think it should be
possible to provide at least basic user-level interface without
constraining you much to do some magic behind the scene in your
out-of-box indices. I had some experience in developing similar
containers (a bit more case-specific, though) and it almost always
comes down to a std::list of nodes and whatever-you-need containers
that hold iterators to the list of nodes and represent indices. If
your design is similar to that, I don't see many problems if a user
sees list-like interface of the main container and some helper
facilities to implement index iterators and projecting.

> I'm curious about those special indices you've been in need
> of. If they are of general interest and you want to contribute
> the code maybe they can be adapted and included into the lib.
> Also, maybe if you explain their purpose we can come up with
> a way to have the functionality with the current public
> interface of Boost.MultiIndex.

Well, I'm not sure it's generic enough to be contributed. The
container I developed holds elements (not necessarily std::pairs).
Each element contains a string member which is a wildcard as a key.
The wildcard may contain fixed characters and placeholders '?' (any
single char) and '*' (any number of any chars). Overlapping wildcards
(two wildcards are overlapping if they are different, but there is a
string which they both match to) are allowed to coexist in the
container, but not the same ones.
A user, having a complete string, is able to find an element whose
wildcard matches most closely (i.e. is the most detailed
among all wildcards in the container that match the string).
Additionally, he is able to find all elements whose wildcards match
the string. On top of that, it should be possible to operate on the
container elements by having their unique integer identifiers (which
essentially means another index).

The major requirement was lookup performance, even in a reasonable
expense of storage overhead and other operations speed. A typical
sizes would be tens to hundreds of thousands of elements.

I failed to make use of B.MI ordered or hashed indices because of the
constraints they apply to the CompatibleKey, CompatibleCompare,
CompatibleHash and CompatiblePred objects I would have to provide.

My technique was based on a number of hash tables and a little
knowledge of the wildcards nature. :) Do you consider this kind of
index could be generalized more to be included in B.MI (some kind of
"like_index" or "matching_index")?

Best regards,
 Andrey                            mailto:andysem_at_[hidden]

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