What are the advantages of using the C++ Boost libraries?


So, I've been reading through and it appears that the Boost libraries get used a lot in practice (not at my shop, though). Why is this? and what makes it so wonderful?

1/26/2010 2:09:37 AM

Accepted Answer

Boost is used so extensively because:

  • It is open-source and peer-reviewed.
  • It provides a wide range of platform agnostic functionality that STL missed.
  • It is a complement to STL rather than a replacement.
  • Many of Boost developers are on the C++ standard committee. In fact, many parts of Boost is considered to be included in the next C++ standard library.
  • It is documented nicely.
  • Its license allows inclusion in open-source and closed-source projects.
  • Its features are not usually dependent on each other so you can link only the parts you require. [Luc Hermitte's comment]
5/23/2017 11:33:26 AM

From the home page:

"...one of the most highly regarded and expertly designed C++ library projects in the world." — Herb Sutter and Andrei Alexandrescu, C++ Coding Standards

"Item 55: Familiarize yourself with Boost." — Scott Meyers, Effective C++, 3rd Ed.

"The obvious solution for most programmers is to use a library that provides an elegant and efficient platform independent to needed services. Examples are BOOST..." — Bjarne Stroustrup, Abstraction, libraries, and efficiency in C++

So, it's a range of widely used and accepted libraries, but why would you need it?

If you need:

  • regex
  • function binding
  • lambda functions
  • unit tests
  • smart pointers
  • noncopyable, optional
  • serialization
  • generic dates
  • portable filesystem
  • circular buffers
  • config utils
  • generic image library
  • TR1
  • threads
  • uBLAS

and more when you code in C++, have a look at Boost.

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