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Subject: Re: [boost] Boost Evolution
From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-10-08 17:20:25

David Abrahams wrote:
> At Fri, 8 Oct 2010 10:46:33 -0800,
> Robert Ramey wrote:
>> Boost is getting bigger and bigger. This is a good thing.
>> The Boost header directory and boost namespace is also getting
>> bigger and bigger. This is starting to become a problem.
> Specifically, how? I don't like it either, but I'd like to know what
> the real-world effects are.

a) >> As boost get's bigger and bigger, it gets harder and harder to
>> install just a part of it. But installing just a part of it is what
>> users
>> need to become confident about it.

b) suppose I start with my "small" embedded system. Now I need
shared_ptr and so I install boost. Now when something unexpected
happens, I've now got to consider that that something is among
thousands of lines of code that I for all practical purpposes I can't
inspect. The giant size of boost means that I can accidently
inject dependencies without being aware of them. Even if it
never happens, I now have to consider this possibility everytime
I have a problem.

c) It's a real obstacle to convincing programmers to install and
experiment with boost.

These are already problems right now. They'll only get worse.

>> c) a couple of "catch all" namespaces/headers would be required such
>> as "utility" for small libraries.
>> I'm somewhat confused about "detail". If it's an implemenation
>> detail
>> of a particular library it should be in that library. If its a
>> useful function
>> which is shared by several libraries, it should be in something like:
>> "unreviewed".
> But in general it's not unreviewed code. It was usually part of a
> library that passed review, and then the code was factored out. So it
> doesn't have the same standing as a Boost library, and it may not have
> any user-level documentation, because... it's an implementation detail
> of various Boost libraries.

Hmmmm - if its reviewed and placed in a "global" namespace like
boost::detail why not just include it in boost::utility then? if its used
for just one library, then why not make it a part of that one library
rather than putting it in a global namespace?

>> And of course these should have thier test and documenations
>> in the corresponding "lib" subdirectory.

Which we don't currently have this for "detail" components.

>> I realize that we've been circling around this topic for a while, I
>> just want to keep it alive.
> Don't worry, Ryppl isn't dead either; it's just been quiet for a while
> ;-)

I see this evolution as something necessary on it's own. Rypple
may or maynot occur, but I think boost should evolve in this
direction regardless. For now, I'm proposing these changes
only for new libraries.

Robert Ramey

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