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Subject: [boost] [string_ref] type erasure to support arbitrary strings
From: Andreas Pokorny (andreas.pokorny_at_[hidden])
Date: 2013-01-30 08:16:45

When I made a first glance of the proposal I expected that string_ref
is some kind of type erasing non owning holder of a reference to an
arbitrary string class. The imperfect silver bullet for the diversity
of string types.

Take a project that uses c++ libraries using std::string, Qt GUI and
maybe a module that works with chunked strings (string composed out of
a list of usually equally sized blocks of memory). At the boundaries
of the software modules copies have to occur. Frequently the interface
expects some kind of constant references to a certain string type.
Most of the time the callee just wants to process the complete string
or just a part of the string. So there might not even be the necessity
to have random access hence no need for a contiguous copy of the
string contents.

Thats why I would prefer a facility that only requires that the source
string is a forward range of characters in an arbitrary encoding.

I do not think that it makes sense to only address contiguous
sequences of characters.

Andreas Pokorny

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