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Subject: Re: [boost] boost::random, header-only, boost::uuids::detail::seed_rng, and UWP development
From: Andrey Semashev (andrey.semashev_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-09-12 14:39:12

On 09/12/17 15:40, James E. King, III via Boost wrote:
> Hi folks,
> It looks like the only reason boostorg/random is not a header-only library
> is due to random_device (it is the only src/ file:
> The older WinCrypt
> calls are not available in some Windows platforms going forward, so this is
> going to become a problem pretty quickly for the community.
> In the boostorg/uuid library there is a seed_rng class which is doing
> similar things (however providing more entropy) and the library is
> header-only. In addition there are two filed defects - one in Trac and one
> in github issues, about uuid being incompatible with UWP applications
> (that's Windows universal apps). In uuid, I started adding support for
> BCrypt which is a Windows API supported on later versions of Windows, and
> once I changed my build flags to target Windows 10 and WINAPI_FAMILY_APP, I
> started getting build failures in random_device.
> On further inspection it looks like the random library doesn't have support
> for BCrypt yet, and even worse as a source library one would need to build
> two variants - one for WinCrypt and one for BCrypt to support older and
> newer windows platforms. There are also some implications on MinGW, as the
> older original MinGW has support for WinCrypt and MinGW-64 supports both.
> I'm going to propose that the implementation from
> boost::uuids::detail::seed_rng be moved into boost::random as the new
> random_device implementation. At the same time, boost::random will become
> header-only, and thus support setting _WIN32_WINNT at build time of
> consuming applications properly, and therefore support new Windows
> platforms properly.
> At the same time I would like to change seed_rng such that it no longer
> silently ignores some return values, and does not disable any compiler
> warnings (deprecations, currently).
> Thoughts?

I think that making Boost.Random header-only would be good.

In addition I would suggest adding support for getrandom() on Linux and
getentropy() on OpenBSD, as they are protected from file descriptor
exhaustion. This can be done in a separate PR though.

You will likely need to add BCrypt API to Boost.WinAPI - please, make a
PR to it as well.

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