C++ – Boost Library


Since I have started using this site, I keep hearing about the Boost library. I am wondering what are some of the major benefits of the Boost library (hence why should I use it) and how portable is the Boost library?

Best Solution

Boost is organized by several members of the standard committee.
So it is a breeding ground for libraries that will be in the next standard.

  1. It is an extension to the STL (it fills in the bits left out)
  2. It is well documented.
  3. It is well peer-reviewed.
  4. It has high activity so bugs are found and fixed quickly.
  5. It is platform neutral and works everywhere.
  6. It is free to use.

With tr1 coming up soon it is nice to know that boost already has a lot of the ground covered. A lot of the libraries in tr1 are basically adapted directly from boost originals and thus have been tried and tested. The difference is that they have been moved into the std::tr1 namespace (rather than boost).

All that you need to do is add the following to your compilers default include search path:


Then when you include the standard headers boost will automatically import all the required stuff into the namespace std::tr1

For Example:

To use std::tr1::share_ptr you just need to include <memory>. This will give you all the smart pointers with one file.