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From: Jim Douglas (jim_at_[hidden])
Date: 2006-02-03 10:17:14

David Abrahams wrote:
> 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.

 From my POV as a user and recent contributor my comments are:

1. It took me a long time for me to realise that a large proportion of
Boost is header-only and can be used without pre-building any libraries
(archives & shared objects).

2. It is also not immediately clear that there is a large amount of
interdependency between Boost libraries. This information would be
particularly useful when trying to resolve compilation problems e.g if
Boost.b & Boost.c both use Boost.a, if you can't get 'a' to compile then
you don't stand a cat in hell's chance with b and/or c.

IMHO it is high time that someone produced a dependency graph, or each
library document had a "uses" section.

3. Boost's sheer size makes it difficult to document. From the responses
so far it's obvious that different users have their own personal
favourite sections. I find that I discover something new every day,
usually thinking "If only I had discovered that six months ago I could
have saved so much time!"

The ultimate solution would be to have a problem oriented section in the
docs, i.e. if you are trying to do this, then we suggest you try these
libraries. If we assume that each library was constructed in order to
fill a need and/or solve a problem (and not just for intellectual
amusement) then these needs/problems could be collated into a single

4. The single word naming of the libraries can lead to ambiguities and
misunderstanding e.g. "serialization" means different things to
different people and requires a full paragraph to explain, and IMHO
"thread" is somewhat misleading. Other names mean nothing to me so I
have to go and look them up.

Jim Douglas

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