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Subject: Re: [Boost-users] Cutting headers
From: Edward Diener (eldiener_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-05-10 19:59:48

On 5/10/2017 11:14 AM, Paolo Bolzoni via Boost-users wrote:
> On Wed, May 10, 2017 at 10:36 AM, Paul A. Bristow via Boost-users
> <boost-users_at_[hidden]> wrote:
>>> Unfortunately it is a long standing problem, even Bjarne Stroustrup mentions it.
>> The interdependence of Boost libraries isn't a 'problem' - it may be an inconvenience, but is an unavoidable consequence of missing
>> built-in language features and Boost's invaluable working for multiple platforms, targets and compilers and standard versions.
> I find this pattern all the time, so even if a bit out of topic I have
> to ask. Perhaps it is simply a language barrier.
> Since when knowing where a problem come from makes it less a problem?
> You essentially are saying: "Yes, that's the situation. Here why. So
> it's not a problem."
> The problem IS there, if it is unavoidable, or incredibly difficult to
> solve, or "solving it" means to "replace it with bigger problems",
> then it is fine and we live with it. But it does not mean that it's
> not a problem.
>> Work has been done to minimize unnecessary interdependence, but it remains almost impossible to write any library without using some
>> other libraries, as the dependency graphs show.
> True enough, but some interdipendency are a bit gratuitous. Doubly now
> that the standard language gives part of boost.

I wrote a library whose purpose was to reduce the dependence on a Boost
library when the C++ standard equivalent library was available at
compile time, while reducing to a minimum any difference in the code
between using Boost or the C++ standard equivalent, but no one was
interested. So essentially dependence on other Boost libraries, even
when the C++ standard equivalent is available via the compiler
implementation, was not seen as an issue by other Boost developers.

>> There is nothing to stop users figuring out the subset of essential libraries, sometimes quite small, as others have commented. The
>> downside is that keeping up-to-date may be tiresome.
> "Nothing stops users" is not even an argument. The problem is exactly
> (quoting Stroustrup) that "it [is] hard to pick and choose." Hard does
> not mean impossible.
> Said that, I DO NOT mean at all to say: boost has the problem that the
> libraries are overly coupled and so do not use it.
> Quoting again "it is usually a really dumb idea to go and reinvent a
> wheel that boost already offers," what I mean is: it is infortunate
> and we have to deal with it. Just like with arrays that becomes
> pointers.

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