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Subject: Re: [boost] [Modularization] A new approach to header modularization
From: Emil Dotchevski (emildotchevski_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-05-29 08:25:47

On Fri, May 29, 2009 at 12:49 AM, Christopher Jefferson
<chris_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> On 29 May 2009, at 08:36, Emil Dotchevski wrote:
>> On Fri, May 29, 2009 at 12:28 AM,  <joaquin_at_[hidden]> wrote:
>>> Emil Dotchevski escribió:
>>>> On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 11:39 PM,  <joaquin_at_[hidden]> wrote:
>>>>> As a user, I can describe *my* reasons to favor header-only libs:
>>>>> 1. The whole bjam-driven building process is nontrivial and time and
>>>>> space consuming.
>>>>> 2. If autolinking is not available, picking up the right lib variant is
>>>>> not
>>>>> trivial.
>>>>> 3. Bulding libs selectively is not as easy as it might seem, due to the
>>>>> fact that interlib dependencies might force you to build libB when
>>>>> using
>>>>> libA, and you don't know in advance.
>>>> [...]
>>>>> This is not to say that I'd like *every* lib to be header-only; but
>>>>> I'd say the benefits of moving to a link-based lib should be balanced
>>>>> against points 1-4.
>>>> Assume for a moment that 1-3 were solved at the build system level.
>>> Assuming 1-3 were solved is tantamount to assuming that building libs is
>>> as
>>> painless as not having to build them. Under these conditions of course
>>> I'd
>>> have no reason to prefer one solution to the other.
>> One way to make building libs as painless as not having to build them
>> is to use Boost Build itself to build your programs. It makes the
>> presence of cpps/libs an implementation detail. In my own code
>> repository, I have many libs and many cpp files and many header-only
>> libs and I don't keep track which is which -- Boost Build figures it
>> out for me.
> Expecting people to change their build system just for one library doesn't
> seem sensible! What if some other library decided we should use their
> specialised build system?

I didn't point at Boost Build because it builds boost, but because
it's a good build system that solves the 1-3 issues that were listed.
All I'm saying is that if using Boost Filesystem (which requires
building) is harder for you than using Boost Bind (which doesn't),
then maybe you ought to be thinking about changing your build system.

Emil Dotchevski
Reverge Studios, Inc.

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