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From: John Femiani (JOHN.FEMIANI_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-10-05 13:29:32

> -----Original Message-----
> From: miles.bader_at_[hidden] [mailto:miles.bader_at_[hidden]]
> Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2007 8:47 PM
> To: John Femiani
> Cc: boost_at_[hidden]
> Subject: Re: [GTL] - geometric template library - determininginterest
> "John Femiani" <JOHN.FEMIANI_at_[hidden]> writes:
> > What is not lightweight about the get<0>(pt) syntax? Doesn't it
> > away? Is the issue a dependency on another library -- because the
> > get<0>(pt) syntax seems really easy to provide without bothering
> > Fusion.
> >
> > template <int Index> float get(MyPoint & p) {return p[Index];}
> > template <> float get<0>(MyPoint & p) {return p.x;}
> How does this work with non-constant indices? That's a significant
> why array-style access is useful ...
> -Miles

Array access has it own problems; I think we would need to accommodate

I am not too familiar with fusion; but I have used GIL which has
concepts for heterogeneous as well as homogeneous types. The most
generic type of access is obtained by something like the get<> template
function below (but GIL calls it at_c<>). This can be used for all
types, but it requires compile-time knowledge of the index. There is
another, more restrictive, concept for homogenous types only that also
allows the brackets ([]) to be used. As a developer you decide whether
your algorithm fundamentally requires a homogeneous type or not and you
document/enforce this through the appropriate concepts, but if you can
support the get<> syntax your algorithms that require points will be
applicable to more types. I suspect that with a little cleverness most
point operations can be done without array-style indices.

For example; with the get<> syntax it easy to add a read-only homogenous
coordinate without modifying the underlying point type:

float get<3>(MyPnt2D&) {return 1;}
float get<3>(MyVec2D&) {return 0;} //"Point at infinity"

If you chose the [] operators I think you would have to tack an extra
'1' to each object OR put some kind of 'if' statement that would be
evaluated for each access to operator[].

If we want boost to have a point class I think it will really have to be
a set of point adapters and point concepts that work for existing types.
There are too many points out there that we would have to interact with,
both outside of boost and also within boost. For instance it would be
nice if algorithms worked with both Boost.Point and the CGAL point.

-- John

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