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Subject: Re: [boost] 5 Observations - My experience with the boost libraries
From: Markus Werle (numerical.simulation_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-03-25 18:14:35

Tom Brinkman wrote:

> However, for some reason, people don't apply that same standard to
> boost. Because boost is open-source, the source code is obviously
> available so people will invariably take a peak at it.
> If what they see scares them, and then they find out that the library
> may in fact have only one one active maintainer, it can be a real
> source of concern.

This week I was in trouble for having written code my boss does not
understand. Admittedly, the boss has never written a line in C++,
but looking at the code he was "shocked", as he said.
IMHO I did not even use too much template stuff, but it was a C++/CLI
bridge using bind/foreach/ref_ptr/etc. and I had to work around compiler
bugs ... [another story OT]
There always is a tradeoff between features/maintainability of code
and ease of understanding. Those who want it all but do not want to pay for
it, please go away and write maintenance nightmares in C#.

I have colleagues who do not understand the meaning of keyword const
and why it may be a good idea to qualify methods as such.
It's the same debate, only on a much lower level.
I have to defend myself for writing parsers using boost::spirit, because
colleagues are not well educated and do not want to take the extra time
to read the docs and learn about EBNF.
Drawing the conclusion that boost is bad, since I cannot convince my
job mates, is odd to me. No, I will not write a parser with if-then-else

We hacked a full-featured asynchronous serial line communication steering
controller hardware with 2-way communication and 3 levels of serial line
message parsing and inteligent error handling within 4 days using asio for
the first time in our life. Is boost bad because my boss has problems while
staring at the source code of asio? I cannot follow you in any aspect.

Could you please give an example where using a boost library
did not pay off and where the effort invested was in vain?

The whole discussion reminds me of Salieri talking about Mozart's music as
"having too many notes".

What we need is education. My kids should learn modern C++ before
they get 17 years old. We need managers who know their mass from a black
hole. All this: problems beyond boost.


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