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Subject: Re: [boost] The problems with Boost development
From: Boris Schaeling (boris_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-03-20 10:46:03

On Sat, 20 Mar 2010 13:25:35 +0100, Paul A. Bristow
<pbristow_at_[hidden]> wrote:

> [...] - bjam is unfamiliar and inscrutable to many, and lacks
> *effective* documentation and jamfile comments. I see this
> as a mega barrier to many who might like to help.
> - build/download/install process is not easy enough and not well
> enough documented - the same user problems keep
> cropping up again and again on the lists. (And very probably this is the
> tip of a much, much bigger iceberg).

I agree with you that the documentation is not sufficient. I had used
Boost libraries for many years without ever understanding the difference
between Boost.Jam and Boost.Build. I also never had an idea which option
to use when and where (eg. is it msvc, --toolset=msvc, toolset=msvc or

After having sat down for a weekend last year and trying to understand the
entire build process I wrote down what I learned. The article can be found
at and is not linked anywhere on
the Boost website as far as I can tell.

 From the feedback I get this article should definitely help you to
understand the big picture (some developers find the article via the usual
search engines). The entire build process and the tools made very much
sense to me when I finally got the big picture. That said I'm pretty much
impressed - but it took me also years to become impressed. :)


PS: I only look forward to a Python port of the tools instead of using
another scripting language in Jamfiles. I didn't make my mind yet whether
switching to something else like CMake makes sense.

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