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Subject: Re: [boost] Formal Review Request: Boost.String.Convert
From: Stewart, Robert (Robert.Stewart_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-02-17 15:31:03

On Tuesday, February 17, 2009 3:10 PM
Emil Dotchevski wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 11:55 AM, Stewart, Robert
> <Robert.Stewart_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> > The arguments, whether function or template, would specify
> the conversion to apply. For example, to_string<int>(s)
> could also be written as convert<int>(s). (Both can be
> rearranged to take two arguments and return a bool, for
> example, so the point is merely to eliminate directionality
> and "string" from the name.)
> I don't buy this. In general, converting to_string requires formatting
> specifiers, etc. If the semantics of convert() are that it can convert
> anything to anything, it needs a way to configure the conversion, and
> I don't see how all this can be crammed into a single practical
> interface for all types

Valid points. The question is whether other inter-type conversions may require configurability, even if not the same as for strings, such as influencing rounding, truncation, etc. If so, then there may yet be room for a generalized framework. If not, I'm fine with treating conversions to/from strings as special.

> (and even if that's possible, it's outside of
> the scope of this discussion IMO.)

The discussion originated from the desire to improve upon lexical_cast for some particular use cases. I suggested the possibility of widening the scope beyond just string conversions. If there is no agreement to widen the scope, so be it. Don't throw out convert because it exceeds a scope not yet fully established.

> I'd much rather treat to_string and from_string not as synonyms of
> convert(), but as two independent interfaces (meaning, two separate
> HPP files: to_string.hpp and from_string.hpp) each designed for its
> specific task. These two conversions are important enough to justify
> this special attention.

That's not a technical justification. It is preference. I suggested "convert" as an alternative to the to/from/to_string/from_string/whatever discussion. Whether it proves meritorious is another matter.

Rob Stewart robert.stewart_at_[hidden]
Software Engineer, Core Software using std::disclaimer;
Susquehanna International Group, LLP

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