Boost logo

Boost-Build :

From: Larry Evans (cppljevans_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-09-06 07:04:12

On 09/05/07 18:14, Peter Foley wrote:
> Hi Larry,

Howdy, Peter.

First, sorry for any offense caused by my message.

>> Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2007 09:52:53 -0500
>> From: Larry Evans <cppljevans_at_[hidden]>
>> On 09/05/07 01:19, Peter Foley wrote:
>> [snip]

>>> Format (pdf) and Hypertext Markup Language (html). For information
>>> on all the possible target types refer to the Boost.Build manual.

>> A casual reader would assume from this that there's a fixed set of
>> target types; however, the following:
>> means that the set of target types can be extended by the user.

> I might be being a bit sensitive and you're not actually trying to
> correct my definition but how was what I said in that email
> incorrect?

Not incorrect, just easy to misinterpret, as I (one "casual" reader)
did. I *misinterpreted* the phrase:

   For information on all the possible target types
   refer to the Boost.Build manual.

to mean there was some place in the manual *enumerating* all possible
target types. You may have meant the word "possible" to indicate
there was more than a fixed number, i.e. that the manual descibed how
to define new type; however, the "casual" reader could easily infer a
different meaning.

If I misinterpreted the phrase, I was afraid others would similarly
misinterpretation the phrase, which is why I posted the message with
the (now that I think about it ) seemingly condescending "Reminder:"
in the subject. The "Reminder:" in the subject was meant to indicate
that "yes, I know you (and other 'thorough manual readers') know that
there's user-defined-types", while the body was addressed to "casual"
readers like myself who misinterpreted the phrase.

Note, when I said "casual" I meant a person who would not bother to
actually read the manual, but just infer some conclusions (e.g. that
there was a fixed number of types) from the phrase "all the possible
target types". I only became a less casual reader because I
remembered reading something about user-defined-types some months ago
and bothered to find the above #bbv2.extending.targets reference.

I think the possibility of misinterpretation could be lessened by:

   1) providing a more direct reference
   (e.g. extender.html#bbv2.extending.targets)


   2) saying a "a target type is either a built-in or a user-defined
   type" (again, with pointers to where each of these variants is defined).


   3) saying "How a target type is defined is described in the manual".


> A user who reads the manual to see what target types there are will
> realise that in addition to the targets I mentioned it is possible
> to add new targets.

However, a "casual" reader (which I should have defined) wouldn't read
the manual because he wouldn't be interested in the details but would
want some "general idea" about types. The "general idea" about types
implied (at least to me) by:

   For information on all the possible target types
   refer to the Boost.Build manual.

is that there's only a fixed set.

Peter, I apologize for any offense implied by my careless wording.
Maybe if I'd defined what I meant by "casual reader" and hadn't used
"Reminder:" in the subject, things would have been less offending.

-kind regards,

Boost-Build list run by bdawes at, david.abrahams at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at