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Subject: Re: [boost] Official warnings policy?
From: Stewart, Robert (Robert.Stewart_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-11-06 08:55:59

John Maddock wrote:
> To take one example quoted here: the gcc "class does not have
> a virtual
> destructor" warning. I've been hit by that in template
> metaprogramming
> code, where there is absolutely zero chance that it could
> ever represent a
> bug, nonetheless users complained, I griped, and then in
> the end I fixed it. What I learned from this was:
> * It's quicker to fix than gripe.
> * These often get reported to me multiple times via multiple
> channels (list,
> bug report etc), so the quicker it's fixed the less time it
> takes me dealing with support requests.
> * The volume of template back-trace can be so high, that even
> if a complete
> C++ novice can recognize that the warning is meaningless, the
> volume of data obscures the *real* problems.
> * There's no way a user can tell whether this represents a
> true issue or not
> without delving into your code and figuring it out for themselves.
> That's a real concern with this "class does not have a
> virtual destructor"
> warning: you may know and understand the context, a user does
> not: indeed a
> new Boost user more familiar with OO design than
> Boost-paradigms may well
> say to themselves "gees these guys can't even make a
> destructor virtual when
> it should be", and just move on to some other library, or
> worse, reinvent
> the wheel by writing less good code themselves. Do you
> expect every new
> user to Boost to investigate every warning and check it's
> harmless for
> themselves? All 13 thousand lines of them from the last build? ;-)

That is excellent fodder for the rationale for eliminating warnings section in the policy being developed in the Wiki.

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

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