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Subject: Re: [boost] Official warnings policy?
From: Steven Watanabe (watanabesj_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-11-04 21:34:31


Patrick Horgan wrote:
> John Maddock wrote:
> I'm *not* saying we should do this for 1.41, but should we have an
> official policy regarding compiler warnings and which ones we regard as
> "failures"?
> I realize these can get pretty busy-body at times, but if the user sees
> several pages of warnings when building Boost it doesn't look so good.
> It not only doesn't look good. It isn't good. As Herb Sutter and Andrei
> Alexandrescu point out in Item 1 in C++ Coding Standards which says compile
> cleanly at high warning levels, if you get used to ignoring warnings, it is
> guaranteed to bite you in the butt. I know people will talk about silly
> examples, and how hard it is. Wah wah wah. I find real errors in the code
> of people like that all the time. They got used to ignoring warnings and
> real problems got by them. Someone who isn't willing to understand the
> warnings is asking for trouble, and I know there are people in boost who
> don't take the trouble to understand their warnings. I see things that are
> silly, and that they should have fixed. I don't see how they can hold their
> heads up for some of this stuff.

It would certainly be a good thing if Boost compiled without warnings.
However, I do not think that fixing all warnings would significantly reduce
the number of bugs. Realistically, the vast majority of the warnings that
we have to deal with are spurious. I am not convinced that tracing through
all the noise from a dozen different compilers is worth the effort from that
standpoint. As far as I am concerned, the primary reason for eliminating
warnings is that they are annoying to users.

In Christ,
Steven Watanabe

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