Tag: boost

Entries for tag "boost", ordered from most recent. Entry count: 1.

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May 2014

Boost Geometry LOL

Many programmers I follow on Twitter made fun recently of this page: Boost Geometry - Design Rationale. I agree with them - it's ridiculous how sophisticated a simple geometric distance function can become if you want to make it generic using C++ metaprogramming. There are many developers who like such tricks, but I'm not one of them.

Of course I know and appreciate that C++ is so powerful you can write such generic code and that all the complexity is solved in compile time so run-time performance is good and not affected by this. But on the other hand, generic programming in C++ has its flaws: it's hard to learn, the code is long and complex, hard to write, debug, read and understand. When you make a mistake, error messages are cryptic, which is inevitable with so many levels of indirection.

So here is what I thought about this: If all these traits and other helper, boilerplate code was not needed and if compile-time metaprogramming was imperative and iteration-based like the main language itself, not functional and recursion-based, then a dimension-agnostic distance function could look like as simple as this:

struct vec2 { float x, y; }
struct vec3 { float x, y, z };

declare components of vec2 as { x, y };
declare components of vec3 as { x, y, z };

float distance(a, b)
    float dist = 0;
    foreach(c in a.components)
        dist += (b.c - a.c) * (b.c - a.c);
    return sqrt(dist);

But because it doesn't, I will stick with 2D, 3D and 4D vectors of floats :)

Comments (2) | Tags: boost c++ | Author: Adam Sawicki | Share

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