Re: how to store list of varying types

"Giovanni Dicanio" <>
Tue, 1 Jul 2008 18:17:08 +0200
"Joseph M. Newcomer"

Thanks for your historical perspective, Joe.

On the other hand, the data structures discussed by the OP are very
trivial structures;
they do not have complex nesting, or need to be checked against various
predicates. The cost of parsing what is essentially a "flat" structure is
very small. So
it is not clear the efficiency arguments are quite as compelling. While
the text can be
xml, a simple parser is a tiny effort to write (a few hours at most for a
flat structure.
I wrote an XML parser from scratch for a complex nested structure in six
hours, including
all the high-level parsing, and I will publish it when I release the
program on my MVP
Tips site, Real Soon Now)

Joe: you can't consider yourself a "benchmark" for programming :) I mean,
you are superior of the "average programmer". If that work took to you 6
hours, I believe for the average programmer it will took much more :)
Moreover, I understand that you have deep knwoledge of compiler technology
(and I think that the parser is a sub-system of compiler technology), so you
must be very familiar with this kind of stuff and parsing algorithms.

Frankly speaking, I would write an XML parser only for learning purposes
(and time spent for learning new things is of course quality time), but for
production code I would use a well written and well tested 3rd party XML
parser like TinyXML (or XmlLite).
(It is kind of like STL containers: I wrote some linked-list and array
classes for learning and practicing some C++, but for production code I
prefer using robust well-tested STL.)

My 2 cents.

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