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Subject: Re: [boost] Are warnings acceptable artifacts from builds?
From: Emil Dotchevski (emildotchevski_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-09-11 16:29:01

On Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 12:06 PM, Stewart, Robert
<Robert.Stewart_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> Emil Dotchevski wrote:
>> My point exactly. This confirms that it is preferable, for that
>> company, to disable some warnings instead of "fixing" them.
> Disabling some warnings *is* the appropriate fix and I've never claimed otherwise.

Sure, the question is who is to decide whether a particular warning
should be disabled. I doubt that any library developer tolerates
warnings in their code, except for the ones they've decided should be
disabled. However, the case of matching opinions isn't interesting,
this discussion is about how to handle situations when the library
developer thinks a particular warning should be disabled (or not
enabled) and someone else thinks otherwise.

>> This in turn leads to another interesting question: why don't they fix
>> such warnings anyway? After all, that's what they're asking library
>> developers to do for them, right? At least in some cases, I'm sure,
>> the answer is "because that would do more harm than good" (as far as
>> this particular company is concerned.)
> If there is no good way to change the library code to prevent some particular
> warning from a compiler, then that should be documented and user's should
> be told that it can be silenced only by disabling that warning.  I've never
> suggested the need to do more in that case.

We're back to square one with this argument. Obviously, if someone
reports a warning and a library developer thinks there is a good way
to fix the warning, it'll be fixed and that will be the end of it. The
interesting case, again, is when there is no "good" way, for some
definition of "good".

It really is a problem of standardization. You don't see people
arguing about whether a compile error should be fixed, such matter is
resolved by fixes, workarounds and bug reports because there's
agreed-upon authority (the ANSI standard) which is presumed correct.
But warnings are issued in cases when the ANSI standard prohibits
issuing an error, and this makes it difficult to craft a general
policy that would be reasonable for everyone.

Emil Dotchevski
Reverge Studios, Inc.

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