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Subject: Re: [boost] [Removing support for old compilers]
From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2013-10-14 13:40:08

Andrey Semashev wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 8:20 PM, Robert Ramey <ramey_at_[hidden]> wrote:

>> a) boost user - all this code in config and the libraries is
>> internal to the libraries. After this change the look and
>> usage of boost will not change at all. - no benefit and
>> no cost to the boost user.
> Not quite true. Boost.Config is a library as any other, its macros are
> documented. I use these macros in projects outside Boost where I need
> portability across different compilers. I don't really care about the
> compilers we're dropping now, so the changes proposed so far don't
> affect me. But it doesn't mean it doesn't affect any other users.

OK - I'll amend the statement above - to say no cost to most
boost users. Definite cost to boost users who use boost config
to handle variations on a wide variety of compilers.

>> d) maintainers of boost libraries. When I first raised this
>> question, I was assured that it would be totally transparent
>> to me and that I would not have to be concerned about it.
>> Hmmm - well OK - as long I don't have to wade in and
>> muck around with ten year old code - (don't even think about
>> addressing any changes which make old data sets unreadable).
>> My worst nightmare is having to go back and re-debug
>> 20 thousand lines of code running on 10 different compilers.
>> Recent postings have made me doubt that one can really
>> undertake this and guarentee that I won't have to do this.
> I didn't really understand your point here. Do you intend to support
> the old compilers, even if Boost in general drops them?

I don't intend to specifically support old compilers - I don't intend
to drop support for them either as it's already in there. Actually
I don't intend to do any work on the serialization library that doesn't
add functionality. It looks like that if this goes through, I'll have to
to go back and re-debug the library to support a decrease of
functionallity - not something I can justify the investment of time
in - not to say that's it's no fun at all.

> Because
> otherwise I don't see how it affects you - the tests will be running
> on modern compilers as they did before.

If that's the case - no problem. But I can't see how a change like
this can be made without causing breakage that I will have to
spend time tracking down.

> My understanding is that the most immediate benefit is exactly for
> Boost library maintainers. Dropping support for ancient compilers
> simplifies code (Boost.Config included), makes it more easily
> maintainable.

on NEW libraries - but it has the potential of creating huge amount
of unpleasant work for older libraries. - with not net benefit to

Robert Ramey

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