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Subject: Re: [boost] [Removing support for old compilers]
From: Adder (adder.thief_at_[hidden])
Date: 2014-01-05 19:17:12

Dear Boost Developers,

I realize that I cannot ask you to support old compilers, but I would
like to kindly ask you not to intentionally rule them out and to
retain existing work-arounds for older compilers, if not otherwise
than by separate folders and files containing "last version known to

I think that newer versions of the libraries should *improve* support
for all compilers instead of dumping a lot of work that has been put,
by the original developers and by others, into getting them to work.

And many of them *do* work, because for example even if they do not
support Template Partial Specialization in *all* cases, they do
support it in enough cases. And who supports, even that, in *all*
cases ?

At some time I had Boost.Thread working just fine with Borland, and
the changes were two or three lines, but there was no answer from the
developer to incorporate them for weeks... I gave up.

Some seem to recommend dropping support for Borland C++ Builder
(version 5, but as I am going to show you really soon, there is no
much difference between version 5.5 aka 2000 and version XE5 aka
2013). But on older hardware (some of us do not have a job and cannot
afford i7's), Borland (any version since 2000) is 2-or-3-or-4 times
faster than Visual C++ (any version since 2003).

As the list of actively developed native C++ compilers gets shorter
and shorter (msvc, gcc, clang, dmc and just who else for Windows if I
may ask ?), having more compilers to:

  - test our code on
  - help us find bugs
  - help us achieve portability
  - help us achieve independence from one (commercial or otherwise) vendor

are great things, very highly appreciated by many developers.

Yes, my answer may be late. But I have humbly said it before:

Maybe it is not the compilers failing Boost. Maybe it is Boost failing
the compilers.

Happy New Year !

Yours truly,
On 10/15/13, Peter Dimov <lists_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> Robert Ramey wrote:
>> I'm willing to concede that these points have value.
>> But I don't think the cost has been adequately appreciated.
> Exactly. The cost will only become to be appreciated when a release
> containing the changes goes out. The majority of our users do not use the
> trunk, do not try out a beta release, do not try the release candidates;
> many of them nowadays don't even get Boost from us. There are also people
> who are using (portions of) Boost on "non-supported" compilers. We only hear
> from them when something breaks.
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