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Subject: Re: [boost] [c++11]
From: Lars Viklund (zao_at_[hidden])
Date: 2013-06-14 14:20:09

On Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 07:04:36PM +0100, Jonathan Wakely wrote:
> On 14 June 2013 18:53, Lars Viklund wrote:
> > On Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 04:21:38PM +0000, Niall Douglas wrote:
> >>
> >> The existing code base being prepared for entry into Boost is pure C++11, or
> >> at least as much C++11 as is provided by the Nov 2012 CTP experimental MSVC
> >> compiler and therefore easily supported by GCC 4.6 and clang 3.x.
> >
> > I hope that you do realize that the Nov12 CTP does not come with a
> > go-live license, nor is recommended for any human consumption.
> >
> > It seems quite odd to me to spend significant GSoC resources on making a
> > library that targets only two compilers,
> You make it sound like C++11 is going to disappear or be a temporary fad.
> Other compilers will catch up at some point.
> > and assumedly a rather narrow
> > set of OSes.
> Is there any compiler that targets more OSes than GCC?

Even if GCC can target an OS, it's not always as suitable as the native
compiler on the OS, with the native runtime. There are also several
alternative C++03 compilers that serve special purposes. Should projects
needing their other features (excellent auto-vectorisation, etc.) have
to completely drop Boost due to an urge to constantly target the
bleeding edge.

> In fact are there any OSes supported by Boost that GCC *doesn't* target?

That depends on what you consider supported by Boost. A lot of the
courtesy support for the native compilers for many OSes out there seems
to be dying out.

> > Was this C++11-only requirement part of the original project plan, and
> > why didn't anyone object to it then?
> Expecting authors of new libraries to refrain from using features of
> the current C++ standard seems a bit ridiculous to me. Not everyone
> will be able to use C++11-only libraries, but why should those users
> hold everyone else back?

I used to see Boost as an empowering library, enhancing and evening out
the playing field among the compilers out there.

Some seem to see it as a playground to gain recognition and fast-track
things into the coming standard libraries, instead of producing
something usable in the real world.

I guess it's losing the goal and aim I perceived, if it ever had it to
begin with. To me, it feels like a betrayal from the library I have
spent many manhours supporting.

I've been on this rant before on the lists, in the big sprawling
discussions about the feasibility of a Boost 2.0, but it seems nothing
was learned then, and I don't expect anything to be learned going
forward either.

As for limiting Boost authors, for leaf libraries that end users can
avoid, sure, there might not be too much harm. It's creeping into the
very core libraries as well, which _does_ bother me, as it can render
whole swaths of the library utterly unusable.

In the end, we need a definitive statement from whatever cabal is
controlling Boost, so we don't get these kinds of discussion
resurrections every few months. All this causes is a lack of faith in
the project.

Lars Viklund | zao_at_[hidden]

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