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From: pbristow_at_[hidden]
Date: 2019-07-17 11:59:46

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Boost <boost-bounces_at_[hidden]> On Behalf Of Mathias Gaunard
> via Boost
> Sent: 17 July 2019 10:33
> To: boost_at_[hidden]
> Cc: Mathias Gaunard <mathias.gaunard_at_[hidden]>
> Subject: Re: [boost] Something off my chest about Boost
> On Tue, 16 Jul 2019 at 21:09, Maarten Verhage via Boost
> <boost_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> > Speaking for myself. I think the first bits to get started with a library are on a
> sufficient level. You know the tutorial and the example code. But I get lost when I
> want to use the library for my own application domain. Then I do need library
> facilities not covered in the example code and sometimes the documentation
> mentions only the syntax. As I would imagine the library author working on
> his/her library judging whether to add a facility or not. Finally decided to add
> something: *the thought/motivation that goes along with that*, that would be
> so valuable for me to read that in the documentation!! Yes, I’m annoyed that I
> cannot read that in the documentation.
> >
> > Another issue is when example code introduces three or more facilities at
> once. Then it is very hard for me to see how these bits relate to each other to
> make it useful for myself.
> Personally I rarely even read textual documentation (examples, tutorials...), it is
> usually more useful to just look at the reference or the code itself (which should
> embed documentation in the form of comments for the parts that matter).
> Textual documentation is often glossing over some details which only make
> sense if you already are familiar with how the library is organized or showing
> trivial things that have little value.
> > 2) Specifically for Spirit X3, a part on Parser Directives:
> >
> > x3/quick_reference/directive.html I would very much like that the
> > reason why each directive is added along with a minimal example that shows
> how to use just that directive.
> The main problem with the Spirit documentation is that it has tutorials and a
> reference of the different parser operators, but there is no real reference
> documentation of the functions and other software infrastructure that actually
> drive the work and the requirements their inputs must satisfy. So you have to
> infer that from tutorials or just look at the source code.
> This is a common problem with a lot of Boost libraries.
> Anyway, for your problem, your confusion might come from the fact that you
> don't realize that parsing with Spirit combines an attribute parser and a skip
> parser, that the skip parser is called before and after each call to the attribute
> parser, and that parsing yields the attribute. Those directives you linked to
> simply allow you to change how those are called or what result they yield within
> a localized context.
> There indeed doesn't appear to be any documentation on this.
> Now a simple idea one might implement to improve the quality of boost
> documentation is simply mandate reference documentation in the form of a list
> of public header files with the public functions they declare together with their
> signature.
> That sort of thing is easily generated by Doxygen and it is already well integrated
> into the Boostbook toolchain.

I agree with this - but the author needs to do this while writing the code and that slows people down.

However, you are clearly just the man to provide Doxygenation for Spirit!


PS I am a 'bear of small brain' and I find examples also very helpful.
Examples of function calls can of course be included in the Doxygen stuff.

Paul A. Bristow
Prizet Farmhouse
Kendal, Cumbria

Go for it.


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