[Aptitude-devel] aptitude starting to use Boost

Daniel Burrows dburrows at debian.org
Sun Jun 14 04:04:07 UTC 2009

  I've avoided pulling in the Boost libraries for a long time.  That's
partly because I don't want to get into depending on five hundred
things, all of which have to be in perfect working order, and partly
because when I started aptitude they were still a little new and I
wasn't sure that I wanted to depend on something that might be a moving

  Anyway, my concerns on the second point are long gone -- Boost is
popular and widely used.  As for the first one, I think that the time
I'll save by not implementing stuff that's in Boost will vastly outweigh
any time spent dealing with dependency issues.  I am in the process of
preparing a commit that will cause aptitude to require Boost to build.
If you're tracking the Mercurial tree, you'll want to install

  The immediate "last straw" was that I wanted an extensible hash table,
which Boost has a very nice implementation of.  But there's lots of
other good stuff in Boost; on at least a monthly basis, I find myself
wishing that I could access some part of it for a task I'm working on in
aptitude.  For instance: the Boost unit test framework is quite a bit
nicer (IMO) than cppunit.  At some point I may convert the aptitude unit
tests over to Boost.Test, or perhaps start writing new tests using
Boost.Test, converting the old ones incrementally as needed.

  That leads me to my second point.  If you write code that pulls in a
new Boost header, please add it to the list in "configure.ac".  I have
written a test script that will run on "make check" to verify that the
set of Boost headers the configure script looks for is exactly the same
as the set of Boost headers that are actually included.  But you can
avoid breaking "make check" if you just update the list in configure.ac
as you go. :-)


More information about the Aptitude-devel mailing list