Most popular libraries not in the HP

Bryan O'Sullivan bos at
Thu Jul 15 18:53:22 EDT 2010

On Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 9:01 PM, Don Stewart <dons at> wrote:

> Things we might realistically propose to add for 2011.1
>    New capabilities:
>        * Binary parsing: binary + cereal ?

Why both? Their parallel existence and purpose is already confusing, without
blessing the two :-)

>        * JSON parsing:   json

It has a somewhat ugly API due to its undesirable avoidance of overlapping
instances and resulting verbosity due to newtype usage. So I'd prefer that
it shouldn't go in without that fixed.

>        * An xml lib:     xml -- prob. needs polish

It seems like a very minimal library to have such a canonical name. It's
honestly hard for me to imagine that it's been battle tested against much
real XML data or that it fulfills many of the ever so slightly esoteric
needs that XML users tend to have, given how small it is.

>        * Unicode:        text

Abstain :-)  I will observe that it needs a tiny bit more API stabilisation,
but that's almost done.

>        * Vectors:        vector

Definitely want.

>        * Hashing:        pureMD5

That's a very narrow package. -1.

Reasons for my comment on narrowness: I'd be sad if we gravitated by default
to a Python-style grab bag of whatever seemed like a good idea at the time.
There's a lot of junk (bad code, inconsistent APIs, poor docs etc) in their
standard library, and I'd prefer to learn from their mistakes rather than
reinvent them ourselves.

       * Databases:      HDBC

Is this even maintained any more?
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