Subject: Re: [boost] [mpl] Abandoning old compilers
From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2015-02-28 18:28:11
Edward Diener-3 wrote
> My reason for supporting the changes for MPL which Stephen Kelly wanted
> to make is that hackery, no matter how brilliant, for compilers whose
> support for the C++ standard is poor in some way tends to obfuscate the
> understanding of how code works. If said compilers are outdated and have
> been superceded by newer versions which the vast majority of programmers
> now use, or if the compiler is not supported or marketed anymore, I can
> understand dropping such workarounds rather than carrying them around
> forever. Code then become easier to understand and change. One does not
> have to worry about some old compiler which no one rationally should be
> using when making additions or changes to a library.
I think we're mixing a couple of things here. Stephen's changes were
not just one library he was willing to maintain and take responsibility
for, but the whole of boost. No one could be responsible for that. I
think he underestimated the subtle repercussions of changes which
which seemed at first glance to be innocuous. In his defense, I think
that is very easy to do since a of the hackery is as non-obvious as it
is necessary. So let's set Stephen's changes apart from this discussion.
The maintainer has to have the option of doing things in the way he
thinks is most expedient. In some cases, that will mean just leaving
things as they are, and other cases that will mean throwing out an
implementation of some feature and replacing it with a simpler one
which is easier to maintain and verify. No one can make an a-priori
policy for that.
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