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Subject: Re: [boost] New libraries implementing C++11 features in C++03
From: Daniel James (dnljms_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-11-25 03:48:28

On 25 November 2011 02:48, Dean Michael Berris <mikhailberis_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> But it's not the library emitting these horrible error messages. So
> why is this tied with the library and not the compiler?

Imagine you know nothing of boost. You're using C++ and you're used to
the normal error messages, not great but you understand them. Then one
day someone points you to this exiting lambda emulation called
Phoenix, you see the demos and they look great. You sit down and try
writing a small program. And pages and pages of error messages fill
your screen. You don't then think, "my compiler generates bad error
messages" as it's normally good enough. You think, "I don't like this"
and it happened as a result of using Phoenix. So the link is made,
"Phoenix creates horrible error messages".

> Why aren't
> people saying "I don't want to use this compiler because it's crappy
> at generating error messages for *any* code"?

People are reluctant to change from what they're used to. The
following is from a post about google's use of clang. Remember that
many C++ programmers won't even bother to try clang, let alone give it
a week.

On 31 October 2011 20:54, Chandler Carruth <chandlerc_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> That said, while the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, there were
> definitely some who were less enthusiastic. Many of these people had worked
> with GCC for so long that they exhibited strong change aversion. The
> messages from GCC are very familiar, and map to an existing set of problem
> descriptions for these people. They faced a learning curve when the messages
> changed *at all*, and that was costly. Interestingly, for a surprising
> number of people in this bucket, after a few months of using Clang, they
> were reluctant to switch back. They had slowly noticed and started using
> several common elements of Clang's diagnostics (such as typo-correction and
> macro backtraces) without even realizing it. When they looked at GCC's
> messages, they didn't have the information they wanted to understand the
> problem.

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