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Subject: Re: [boost] [review] Formal review period for VMD library begins today, Aug 21, and ends Sat, Aug 30
From: Niall Douglas (s_sourceforge_at_[hidden])
Date: 2014-08-22 09:43:47

On 22 Aug 2014 at 9:21, Edward Diener wrote:

> >> OTOH if you choose to clone the library in your modularboost/libs/vmd
> >> the top-level index.html link should work perfectly.
> >
> > That involves more work than I wish to do right now. Right now I
> > merely wish to find out if I could contribute a meaningful review.
> The library is on Github and I am following the modular-boost format so
> I do not know what else I can do to make it easy for others to use and
> review the library. I do not think that asking reviewers to clone a
> library and follow instructions in a readme file in order to use it, is
> asking an awful lot of reviewers.

Equally you want us to give you our time for free to look at your
stuff. Some would say that putting the documentation onto its own
website - like every other library in the review queue does by the
way - isn't asking much of you. For you it's literally a git push to
github pages and it saves all of us the hassle of cloning your repo
and patching it into boost just to see if it's interesting at all to

> >>> However from what I read I ask this: why is this library useful?
> >>
> >> The introduction explains in general the functionality in the library
> >> that would make it useful. Did you read the introduction ?
> >
> > Yes. I get what it does. Not why would anyone need this.
> It is a library for writing C++ macros, like Boost PP. If you do not see
> any use for Boost PP then naturally you would not see any use for the
> VMD library.

I see a use for Boost PP in interfaces, mainly to emulate variadic
templates in 03. With C++ 11 I see little use for Boost PP in
interfaces, but I can see it might be handy to have occasionally in
internal source code away from public interfaces.

I struggle to see how variadic macros add to Boost PP in such a
limited use case. This is the source of my difficulty.

> > The answer is no, but to enter Boost yes. It's very hard for me or I
> > suspect anyone to vote on this if I have no idea what it's useful
> > for. Otherwise someone could submit a randomly generated library and
> > claim it should enter Boost, and we couldn't refuse.
> I can't make you see any use for the library other than writing the
> documentation to explain how it is used and what it offers for macro
> creation.

It is you who wants the library to enter Boost. It is therefore you
and only you who must argue in favour. We default to a reject answer,
it is you who must persuade beyond a reasonable doubt to not reject.

> > I get this is all very clever. And if this library were being
> > proposed for a suite of C libraries, I'd be all over this like no
> > tomorrow.
> >
> > I don't get how this is useful, or wise for C++ however. If you can
> > show me something it can do which is a pain point for many which
> > cannot be achieved using C++ 14, you get my vote. Otherwise I don't
> > see the use case given the much superior alternatives.
> I do not know what the superior alternatives of C++ 14 are which you
> see.

Neither do I. I think it is up to you as the presenter of the library
to tell me why your library is useful to me. I'm not going to decide
if it's useful to me on my own. I don't have the time. I suspect
neither do most people here.

> I can only guess that you do not feel that the creation of macros
> as part of the interface to a library should ever be necessary. But for
> a number of Boost libraries they still are, and for future libraries
> they still will be until C++ has built-in support for things which the
> macro prerprocessor can still do.

I think this is evading the question. You are equivocating here

For reference, I do believe that in C++ 14 code there has to be a
high bar set on the use of macros in public interfaces, especially as
C++ 17 Modules will deprecate that. For that reason, macros in
interfaces is a bad idea.

But I'm giving you out here Edward: give me a use case where your
library solves a hard problem for others which C++ 14 cannot and you
get my yes vote because I trust you to have made a good technical
solution, my problem is in why it is useful. I don't think I am being
unreasonable or unfair here, if your library is useful we need to see

I equally don't mind if anybody else chimes in here with a concrete
example of where this variadic macro library solved a real problem
for them. I assume that if this library got a review manager, it must
have solved something for somebody somewhere. Equally, if no one
chimes in, I must assume that this library has not met the popularity
test and therefore has not been suffiiciently tested in real world
use. And that would affect my vote for obvious reasons.


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