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Subject: Re: [geometry] io - WKB
From: Mateusz Loskot (mateusz_at_[hidden])
Date: 2013-07-29 05:44:01

On 28 July 2013 11:45, Mats Taraldsvik <mats.taraldsvik_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> On 07/18/2013 11:51 PM, Mateusz Loskot wrote:
>> On 18 July 2013 20:04, Mats Taraldsvik <mats.taraldsvik_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> Thanks for the explanations.
> - Can I use the boostorg geometry repository on github, or is there another
> (preferably git) source I should use?

AFAIU, currently, you can use it as read-only repository, but as the development
has not yet moved to GitHub or any other Git repository, thus
you can't submit pull requests or commits there.

The only place where of Boost development is SVN repository
and Trac instance where contributors can open tickets and submit patches.

If you have any questions about Boost migration to Git, please ask on the
Boost development list at
I doubt anyone here is able to provide you with accurate information
on the Git/GitHub migration status.

> - Do you have any guidelines on where I should start?

In order to add multi-geometries support to io/wkb?
I would follow directory/file structure of wkt, then implement required
bits (specialisations of parsers, read_wkb, etc.).

> - Should I begin with implementing the multi-geometries as-is, or should the
> implementation be changed to use streams first? Which stream type?
> (As far as I can tell, for WKT, read_wkt use a std::string, while write_wkt
> use basic_ostream)

IMHO, general rule should be this:
read_{format} accepts std::basic_istream
write_{format} accepts std::basic_ostream

On the other hand, I quite like the iterator-based interface of Boost.Spirit
and I think it would be easier to flip the idea over:
- provide I/O interfaces based on iterators
- allow users to pass streams through iterators
instead of passing complete stream objects.

Iterators are good for generalisation of both containers and streams.

Bruno, what do you think?

Mats, in the meantime, I'd suggest you proceed based on the current
version of interface of I/O for WKB. It is, make your geometries work with:

<unspecified> input(...);
G geometry;
read_wkb(input.begin(), input.end(), geometry);

<unspecified byte type>* input = ...;
std::size_t length = ...;
read_wkb(input, length, geometry);

> - I appreciate that in the WKB spec, an enum is used for geometry_type, but
> doesn't this make it hard to extend (for a user)?

The WKB is a well-specified format and there is no need for extending it.

> An example is PostGIS' extended WKB type, which could be easier to implement
> on top of the wkb implementation if e.g. a static inline const unsigned int
> was used instead, or something with is specializable/overloadable.

EWKB is a different format, and IMO it should not be seen as a
specialisation of WKB.
If OGC changes WKB format and those changes are in conflict with
requirements of PostGIS
needs, then PostGIS developers reserve rights to further disconnect

Having said that, I would be careful with making EWKB parser "OOP-like
derived" from WKB parser.
Instead, I'd suggest to extract some common elements (if possible) and
re-use them to compose
final *separate* parsers. This would allow fine-tuned optimisations as well.

For example, both parsers can re-use definitions of
value_parser, byte_order_parser, geometry_type_parser, etc.
But, I wouldn't worry about code re-use, the parsers are not large
enough to over-engineer their design.

> - A write_wkb method is, as far as I can tell, also missing.

Yes, WKB is read-only parsers. The write support is missing.

Best regards,

Mateusz  Loskot,
"Participation in this whole process is a form of torture" ~~ Szalony,

Geometry list run by mateusz at