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Subject: Re: [boost] What Should we do About Boost.Test?
From: Dave Abrahams (dave_at_[hidden])
Date: 2012-09-17 12:56:32

Whoa, I don't know what happened to the rest of my message! Here are
the missing bits, recreated from memory

on Mon Sep 17 2012, Dave Abrahams <> wrote:

> Hi All,
> I was just going through Boost.Test to try to figure out how to teach
> it, and while it looks to have substantial value, it is also in quite a
> mess. It contains loads of features that are exercised in the examples/
> directory but neither included in any of the tests nor documented.
> There are facilities for command-line argument parsing! There are
> "decorators" that turn on/off features for test cases. There is support
> for mock objects! These are cool and sometimes necessary features, but
> who knew? The third tutorial page
> (
> has a glaring typo in the code examples: "BOOST_AUTO_EST_CASE". There's
> no reference manual at all. There are nearly-identical files in the
> examples/ directory called "est_example1.cpp" and "test_example1.cpp"
> (Did the "t" key on someone's keyboard break?) I could go on, but where
> would I stop?
> I don't know what to do about this. Because of the lack of redundancy
> (i.e. tests and documentation), it's hard to tell whether this library
> is correct or even to define what "correct" should mean. It seems like,
> as long as the code is incompletely / incorrectly documented and tested,
> it's just someone's personal coding project that we happen to keep
> shipping with Boost, and not really a library for general use. This
> situation reflects poorly on Boost as a whole and the fact that it
> centers around a _testing_ library, which is concerned with
> robustness... well, let's just say that the irony isn't lost on me.
> I don't mean this posting as an attack on Gennadiy in any way, but I
> think the situation is unacceptable and therefore am opening a
> discussion about what should happen.
> As a straw man, I'll make this suggestion:
> - Boost.Test is officially deprecated in the next release
> - Its documentation, such as it is, is removed from the release after
> that
> - Meanwhile, other tests in Boost that use this library are rewritten to
> use a different mechanism

  - Finally, the library code is removed from Boost

I'm not at all happy about the idea of ripping Boost.Test out of Boost,
but practically speaking I think it would take a substantial commitment
from volunteers other than Gennadiy to rescue it. I thought of
volunteering to help myself, but realistically I know I wouldn't have
the time, and volunteering when you can't deliver is worse than not
volunteering at all. If such volunteer resources *did* show up, I'd
want to proceed with my straw man suggestion, subject to reversal at any
time should they get things back in shape.

Your input much appreciated,

Dave Abrahams
BoostPro Computing                  Software Development        Training             Clang/LLVM/EDG Compilers  C++  Boost

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