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Subject: Re: [boost] [Lockfree review] Meta-comments
From: Phil Endecott (spam_from_boost_dev_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-07-26 12:54:01

Matthew Chambers wrote:
> On 7/26/2011 2:40 AM, Tim Blechmann wrote:
>>> I think the most important thing is that there be active maintainers for both libraries so that
>>> when issues come up they are fixed. More than a review, atomic needs a maintainer. Lockfree,
>>> I am already convinced, is in good hands. If the lockfree maintainer is willing to maintain
>>> atomic as an implementation detail, why not as a stand alone library? If so, let's accept both
>>> at once and put atomic on the offical list of boost libraries.
>> i would be willing to co-maintain boost.atomic, but i really don't want to do it alone. a few
>> days ago, i posted a message to see if there are possible volunteers to help maintaining
>> boost.atomic. unfortunately i got zero (0) replies.

Tim, I must have missed that. I have volunteered a couple of times
now. But see below.

> That's too bad. It seems reasonably stable now for my platforms (x86[_64] Windows/Linux)

Matt, how have you measured the stability? One of my main concerns
with Atomic is that it seems to lack any tests, so it is hard to know
whether it is actually working correctly or not. (Doing the correct
operation but non-atomically, or without the required memory barriers,
would often appear to work perfectly.)

> so hopefully not much maintenance will be necessary there. For more esoteric platforms,
> might it be reasonable to expect the users of those platforms to put forth some effort
> toward adding atomic support?

Yes, though you might be hard pressed to find any users other than
Helge for PPC and Alpha.

But: my suspicion is that it is now too late for Boost.Atomic to be
useful. g++ already seems to have its own std::atomic implementation
(since 4.4 apparently). With the impending ratification of C++0x we
can surely expect Microsoft and LLVM to have their implementations
ready soon (apparently LLVM says "The only major missing piece of
C++'0x support [in libc++] is <atomic>". So by the time a group of
replacement maintainers got their acts together, they/we might only be
maintaining Boost.Atomic for the benefit of a few people who are unable
to use newest compilers. That wouldn't motivate me much.

Regards, Phil.

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