TECH: STL / Heaps, etc. (was: [MUD-Dev] TECH DGN: a few mudserver design questions (long))

Sean K sean at
Mon Aug 6 11:51:59 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Fri, Aug 03, 2001 at 02:26:43PM -0600, Travis Nixon wrote:
> I used to really like STL.
> Now I really hate it.
> I would really like it again if it really was STL, and maybe
> someday it will be.  Right now its mostly ASTL, though.
> (Almost-Standard template library)
> Actually, it may just be Microsoft's implementation that is ASTL.

For some obscure reason, the version of the STL that ships with VC++
6 and earlier is very out of date (it's the same version that
shipped with VC++ 4).  In addition to (obviously) not conforming to
the 1998 revision of the standard, it has a number of bugs.  Go to
the dinkumware website for the fixes or buy their upgrade.  It's
very up to date and was rated as the or one of the most conforming
implementations around.  It (v3.08) will also be shipping with VC++
7, so expect things to improve significantly.

If you don't want to upgrade your compiler, don't want to spend any
money, or perhaps just want to be completely sure of the portability
of your application, get STLPort.  It's a free port of the SGI
version of the STL.  I've used both it and the latest Dinkumware
implementation and they're both excellent.

As for VC++ 7, expect it to dramatically improve compiler conformace
to the standard.  The only remaining big issue (and this is a really
big one for me) is that it doesn't support partial template
specialization.  I've been whining at the dev team along with a
bunch of other programmers and they're saying they plan to get a
supplemental release out as soon as they can, though I probably
wouldn't expect it for at least a year.  *sigh*

>> Autopointers are the way the light and the truth for c++ :)
> That would be great, except that the way of light and truth isn't
> really c++.  But hey, this is hardly the appropriate forum, so
> please don't respond to that comment.  :)

Yup.  This thread is straying from the list topic.  However IMO if
you're discounting templates or the STL you don't really understand
how to use them effectively.  For a fairly advanced discussion of
generic programming, pick up a copy of "Modern C++ Design" by
Alexandrescu.  The latest trend is to use a combination of
object-orientation and templates to do some fairly advanced code
generation.  It's interesting to see C++ moving towards the realm of
functional languages.  Personally, I think it's a good thing, as
pure object-oriented languages have proved their deficiencies.

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