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c++.stlsoft - STLSoft goes Digital Mars

reply "Matthew Wilson" <dmd synesis.com.au> writes:
Hi everyone

As of version 1.6.2 of STLSoft and 8.34 of DMC++, the STLSoft libraries will
be bundled with DMC++.

For those of you that don't know anything of STLSoft, you can read all the
blurb at http://stlsoft.org/, but I'll give you a brief intro. As the logo
states, it provides
 "Robust, Lightweight, Cross-platform, Template Software." Robust,
cross-platform, template are all pretty obvious. It's lightweight in two
respects, both of which make it a good fit with Digital Mars:

1. it is very easy to use and install. Since it is, and will remain, 100%
header-only, you simply put it in a directory and add that to the include
paths. For DMC++, it is going in dm\stlsoft, and I'm pretty sure Walter'll
be altering SC.INI so that you won't have to do a thing.
2. it is efficient. There are a number of aspects of the library where it is
proved to be more efficient to other C/C++ libraries. Notable ones in the
current version are the integer to string conversions, and the string
tokeniser.

As well as the main STLSoft project - confusingly called STLSoft itself -
there are
currently five released sub-projects, each with their own website. They are

- ATLSTL, http://atlstl.org/. Deals with ATL. Currently very small, there
are a lot of things about to be added
- COMSTL, http://comstl.org/. All things COM. It is more mature than ATLSTL,
with some very useful components - check out the simple_enum_sequence
template that provides policy-based adaptation of COM IEnumXXX enumerators
to STL-like sequences supporting Input or Forward Iterator semantics.
Nonetheless, there
are still quite a few things that will be added to it in the near future.
- MFCSTL, http://mfcstl.org/. MFC. Most of the current contents deal with
making MFC types work seamlessly in an STL. For example, there are adaptive
templates to make CArrayXxxx, CMapXxxxx and CString all come to the STL
party.
- UNIXSTL, http://unixstl.org/. Some UNIX stuff. Like, ATLSTL, this is
currently quite small, but contains some useful stuff: sequences for
file-system iteration, and performance counter types. There's nothing else
currently planned for UNIXSTL, but I'd be very happy to have
suggestions/requests.
- WinSTL, http://winstl.org/. All things Win32. This was the guy that kicked
the whole shabang off, and contains a _lot_ of stuff: file-system, controls,
performance counters, synchronisation, registry, memory. Check out
http://winstl.org/libraries.html for the full listing. Taming the Win32 API
and making it behave like STL has been at once frustrating, interesting and
rewarding. I think this will be the sub-project that you'll find most
immediately useful.


So you might be wondering what is the purpose of bundling with DMC++. There
are three primary reasons.

First, DMC++ and STLSoft have many compatible traits, especially efficiency
and configuration simplicity.

Second, it will bring DMC++ to the attention of the STLSoft users who have
not yet used Digital Mars. It being one of my favourite three compilers
(along with Intel and Metrowerks), not to mention being the one of the three
that
is freely available, I'd be very happy if this brings a new set of people
into the DM community.

Finally, it will bring STLSoft to the attention of all of you good folks. As
a member of the various Digital Mars newsgroups over the past year or two,
it
has struck me what a unique newsgroup this is. It has attracted an
impressive
array of knowledgeable people - most of whom seem to know more than me on a
scarily
large spectrum of topics - but has attracted virtually none of the
petulance,
pomposity and pointless "religious" fervour that abounds in most of the
others
I've sampled. So I know that whatever feedback I get from you all about
STLSoft
will be constructive, and can only help to improve it further.


Before I sign off I just want to mention the resources available.

1. Websites

STLSoft lives at stlsoft.org (and the sub-projects in their respective
.orgs). Check there for the latest information, in particular
http://stlsoft.org/downloads.html

There will also be a site at Digital Mars:
http://www.digitalmars.com/~synesis. At
the moment there's nothing there, but I expect that I'll be able to correct
that in the
next few days. As things develop, I'll be able to create a DMC-STLSoft
site, listing any interesting facts of STLSoft that pertain to DMC++ or to
the
DM-STLSoft newsgroup, and place the help in a sub-directory, as well as it
hosting
the online HTML help for the libraries.

2. Help/Documentation

With the bundle will come the Doxygen-ated help for all the libraries. This
comes as a set of HTML & support files, and also as a Compile Help Module
(chm).
Naturally the CHM only works on Windows, but I think that doesn't present a
problem to most DM members

Note: I *strongly* recommend to anyone who is creating libraries that they
may use a doc-tool on in the future to put the tags, not just the comments,
in as you go. I spent a _very_ boring 5 days last week!

3. Magazine articles

I've done quite a few STLSoft-related articles over the last year or so,
many
of which are not yet published, but a few are already out there; some
are available online

- "C# Performance: A comparison with C, C++, D and Java, part 1", Windows
Developer Magazine, June 2003
- "Win32 Performance Measurement Options", Windows Developer Magazine, May
2003
- "XML Parser Usability and Performance", Windows Developer Magazine, April
2003 - PDF of magazine available for download now from
http://ww.windevnet.com
- "True-typedefs", C/C++ User's Journal, March 2003
- "Adapting Windows Enumeration Models to STL Iterator Concepts", Windows
Developer Magazine, March 2003, http://www.windevnet.com/documents/win0303a/
- "Efficient Integer To String Conversions", C/C++ User's Journal, December
2002

There are more coming out over the coming months, in both CUJ & WDM. Please
bear in mind that WDM makes
all its new, and most of its previous, articles available online. Go to
http://www.windevnet.com/search/ and search for STLSoft. You have to
register, but its free and you can tell them not to send any marketing
email, so it's pretty good.

4. Test programs

This is an area where I've been a bit less than fabulous. The test programs
that
are in the current-bundle / stlsoft.org-download _do_ exercise the
functionality
that they need to, as well as to ensure compiler support, etc., but they're
not
the best examples of my work, to say the least. I was a bit time-poor.

I'm very open to getting questions and feedback from you, not to mention
improvements, and expect that they'll ripen quickly. Also, I plan to place a
couple of non-trivial example programs on the
http://www.digitalmars.com/~synesis  site shortly. One of these is an
enhancement to Walter's very useful whereis program, that uses sequences and
functionals such that it has a surprisingly neat and succinct
implementation.

5. The C++.STLSoft newsgroup

Naturally I'm going to shoulder the responsibility of answering the posts on
the newsgroup, at least
until the STLSoft experience is widened. I'm hoping you'll all participate,
and help me
make the newsgroup, and the libraries, better than they already are.

I've got a pretty thick skin, so please don't worry about upsetting me: all
_constructive_
criticism is welcome. One aim of the DMC++-STLSoft exercise is to help take
STLSoft to
the next level. Fire at will!

6. The libraries themselves

For the moment, I'm not sure whether Walter's going to bundle with the next
beta, or wait until 8.34. My presumption is that he'll wait until 8.34 is
released. In the meantime you can download the latest distribution from
http://stlsoft.org/downloads.html. (Please note that this does _not_ contain
a
DMC++ makefile, which the bundled version does have, so you're a little bit
on your own - but then that's what the newsgroup is for, of course.)


Ok, that's it. Thanks for listening.

Cheers

Matthew Wilson, C++ monomaniac open to a bit of D-programming. ;)

admin stlsoft.org
Apr 09 2003
parent Garen Parham <nospam garen.net> writes:
I've given it a browse and cursory look.  Some things that I wonder right away
which could go in a FAQ or something:

* Is there any reason to use your filesystem code rather than boost's?

* WinSTL...hmm..  Looks like a more minimal version of WTL.  Seen that?

* Why do they all have STL in their name? :)
Apr 11 2003