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Subject: Re: [boost] Boost c++ language conformance
From: Gennaro Prota (gennaro.prota_at_[hidden])
Date: 2008-09-15 14:53:18

Sean Farrow wrote:
> Hi:
> What advanced features of c++ does boost use, I'm thinking features that
> can cause problems with different c++ compilers.

By experience, *anything* may cause a problem with some compiler. Note,
too, that much of what was "advanced", say, 5 years ago, may not be so now.

And Boost is a large code base. Probably everything except non-trivial
exception specifications (and export?) is used somewhere.

> I'm evaluating the
> boost trunk with codegear c++ 2009, and would like to know what to look
> out for! What is the best compiler for standard complience on win32?

Comeau, on whatever platform. In an ideal world, that should extend to
any compiler having the EDG front-end, except that, in the world we
have, many vendors (see e.g. Intel) manage to screw it up in the most
creative ways (perhaps they shouldn't be given access to the front-end
source code :-))

About Codegear, what I'd like to verify isn't if it's up to the most
esoteric constructs (something which keeps me far away from Boost more
often than I'd like) but to what extent it is *usable in the real
world*. To give an example: back in days of VC++6, one could take the

   template< typename T, std::size_t n >
   count( T (&)[ n ] )
       return n ;

VC++6 wasn't even able to parse it; Borland C++ had no problems with it.
  Given that this is something pretty trivial, one couldn't conclude
that VC++ was a shame, and that Borland C++ was at least worth further
examination. However, Borland had some bugs (such as deducing template
types as const-qualified) which made it pretty much unusable, and it had
an incredible tendency to break after minor, innocent code changes.
VC++6, OTOH, supported a much smaller fraction of the language, so that
you had often to write more workarounds than "real code", but once the
code was in place it didn't have that tendency to break at each and
every change. This fact, a bit paradoxically, made it in practice much
more usable than the --more conforming, on paper-- Borland C++.


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