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Subject: Re: [boost] [explore] Library Proposal: Container Streaming
From: Jeffrey Faust (jeff_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-11-30 16:57:35

Jeffrey Bosboom wrote:
> I've written simple versions of streaming operators (both output and
> input) for the standard containers as a simple, low-barrier-to-entry
> form of serialization. Do you plan to provide the input operators
> too? (I understand this would involve some restrictions on the
> streamed forms of the container elements to prevent parsing

We have no plans to implement input operators. You're correct that
there is ambiguity in the form of the stream. There is also ambiguity
in the items that are streamed. In general, containers of strings
would be problematic.
> As a technical question, how are the operators found? They can't be
> added to std (adding to std is undefined behavior), and there's
> otherwise no one namespace to put them in that will allow them to be
> found for all element types (at least with my understanding of ADL).

The operators are added to namespace std, and they are found through
ADL. I don't know how to make this work otherwise.

I think that as long as all the compilers supported by boost also
behave correctly when extending std, we're safe.

> By the way, "Explore" is a very uninformative name.

I agree. It came about during BoostCon 2007 when we had some grander
ideas about what this library would be. It was to be a way to 'explore'
your data, and there were some initial template metaprogramming
approaches. The library is ended up in a much more modest form, but
the name has remained.

Any ideas for a better name? 'container_streaming' is a bit wordy, and
even misleading due to the lack of input operators.

-- Jeff Faust

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