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From: Paul Giaccone (paulg_at_[hidden])
Date: 2006-01-31 06:54:20

Toby Smith wrote:

>> I'm giving a talk about getting started with Boost
>> (
>> <>) and I
>> thought it would be a good idea to solicit input from those who have
>> recently gone through the process. What do you wish someone had
>> explained to you? With what did you need hand-holding? Based on this
>> feedback I expect to make some improvements to the Boost website,
>> also. Any information you can give me will be much appreciated.
> Personally, my biggest problem with getting started with boost was
> realizing that I should get started in the first place.

> [snip]

> In short, I think the main page, the page that should be grabbing the
> casual surfer's attention, should at least highlight some of the
> functionality the consumer can expect from boost (cross-platform
> serialization, anyone? How about containers done right, or a
> well-designed thread package?), instead of devoting real estate and
> reader attention to links to random unix distros.

I agree. I use Boost libraries as a matter of course in all my code,
and think that all C++ programmers should do the same.

What the site needs, in my view, on the front page is some sort of
material selling Boost. Why was Boost set up in the first place?
Because, in some areas, C++ is deficient, is difficult to use or expects
too much of the programmer. Boost helps by providing what is useful but
missing and takes a lot of the work out of C++ programming.

Essentially, Boost needs to sell itself as something that no C++
programmer would want to be without. Think how the adman would write
it: "C++ getting you down? Spending hours tracking down that memory
leak? Then try Boost! It will change your life!" Well, maybe not, but
something along these lines would certainly go a long way to showing why
anyone should be using Boost. At the moment, the front page tells me is
that the libraries are free, portable, peer-reviewed and work well with
the C++ standard library, but that doesn't tell me why it is to anyone's
advantage to use them.


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