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Subject: Re: [boost] [beast] Request for Discussion
From: Edward Diener (eldiener_at_[hidden])
Date: 2016-09-23 19:31:27

On 9/23/2016 4:22 PM, Vinnie Falco wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 11:50 AM, Niall Douglas
> <s_sourceforge_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> ]> Almost everyone here and in the wider C++ community wants somebody to
>> take the HTTP client API from the Python Requests module
>> ( and very closely
>> replicate it in C++
> Hello! I just had a look at this Requests library and it is AMAZING!
> C++ most definitely needs something like this! Look at these features
> it has:
> International Domains and URLs
> Keep-Alive & Connection Pooling
> Sessions with Cookie Persistence
> Browser-style SSL Verification
> Basic/Digest Authentication
> Elegant Key/Value Cookies
> Automatic Decompression
> Automatic Content Decoding
> Unicode Response Bodies
> Multipart File Uploads
> HTTP(S) Proxy Support
> Connection Timeouts
> Streaming Downloads
> .netrc Support
> Chunked Requests
> Thread-safety
> Custom Body Content Workflow
> Streaming Uploads
> POST Multiple Multipart-Encoded Files
> Event Hooks
> Custom Authentication
> Streaming Requests
> SOCKS proxies
> Link Headers
> Transport Adapters
> Just look at that awesome list of features. The Python Requests
> library is something we should hold up as a model of how we want a
> full-featured HTTP client library to look and act.
> Unfortunately, even a reduced subset of these features goes far beyond
> my resources to implement. I also do not feel confident in my
> knowledge of the domain or my abilities to provide a robust C++
> interface for all of this.
> I think that what Niall has done, probably inadvertently, is to
> demonstrate just how broken the Boost review process has become. We
> have Beast, which provides a great implementation of the low level
> HTTP operations (read and write a message, provide a message model). I
> am sure that someone or some group with expert knowledge in creating
> robust HTTP clients could come along and build the C++ equivalent of
> Python Requests on top of Beast. It should not be controversial when I
> say that Beast offers useful functionality today.
> And yet, there are strong opinions that Beast as a low level HTTP
> building block is insufficient to be considered as part of a general
> purpose library Boost. Once again I must ask, if Boost.Asio were
> proposed today would it receive the same critique? Would an absence of
> FTP and HTTP implementations make Christopher Kohlhoff's Asio library
> get rejected in a formal review?

I really object to your characterization of "how broken the Boost review
process has become". There are numerous Boost libraries which serve as
building blocks for higher level libraries and these low-level libraries
are just as important for Boost as a higher-level library which might
appeal more to end-users in application development.

> The modern consensus is that C++ libraries need to become more focused
> and smaller, performing a single task and doing it really well. And
> that is exactly the design principle of Beast - model the HTTP
> message, serialize and deserialize HTTP messages synchronously or
> asynchronously. This might not satisfy the majority of use cases but
> it gives interested parties something they can work with. Who are the
> interested parties? Anyone who wants to write a generic web server. Or
> a full featured HTTP client. You want those features right, and you
> want them in Boost? Then why would we reject a library that offers the
> primitives for other people to create such high level implementations?

We don't reject such a library if we find it useful as a low-level
library. Niall's opinion about your library is his own. Don't push that
opinion on other Boost developers who may feel differently.

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