Subject: Re: [boost] Interest in a simple buffer abstraction?
From: Stewart, Robert (Robert.Stewart_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-01-27 09:51:08
Boris Kolpackov wrote:
> I hoped to find something that would encapsulate the memory
> management and provide basic operations like copy (memcpy),
> append, set all bytes in a buffer to a specific value
> (memset), etc. Something that I could use like this:
> class packet
> address to_;
> boost::buffer payload_;
> packet (const address& to, const void* data, std::size_t size)
> to_ (to), data_ (data, size)
> const boost::buffer& payload () const
> return payload_;
> I would like to propose a simple buffer abstraction for
> inclusion into Boost. Here are some additional motivations:
> - Seeing that there is a number of library-specific implementations,
> it is quite clear that such a class is often needed.
> - If we have a "top-level" buffer class, various i/o libraries could
> use it in their interfaces which would lead to better library
> interoperability (i.e., one could receive data from a socket into
> a buffer using asio and then pass that buffer to iostream or
> interprocess without any conversions).
> - A top-level buffer class will be fairly light-weight (perhaps even
> header-only). Right now, if I am to use a buffer implementation from
> say, asio, I need to install and potentially link to that library.
The idea has merit, but I wonder if an adaptor approach would be better. That is, permit construction of your buffer type from various other storage types, like std::vector, boost::array, char , etc., and simply adapt them to a common interface for use by other code.
Memory management would be outside the scope of the adaptor as it exists merely to overlay an abstraction on the specific storage medium in use, but that also eliminates the issues Mathias is raising. That restricts the API a bit from your vision, but appending, copying, iterators, etc. are still possible.
Storage lifetime must exceed that of the adaptor of course.
Rob Stewart robert.stewart_at_[hidden]
Software Engineer, Core Software using std::disclaimer;
Susquehanna International Group, LLP http://www.sig.com
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