Explanatory notes about libstdc++-v3 design

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"I/O packages", --enable-cstdio

In addition to all the nifty things which C++ can do for I/O, its library also includes all of the I/O capabilites of C. Making them work together can be a challenge, not only for the programmer but for the implementors as well.

There are two ways to do a C++ library: the cool way, and the easy way. More specifically, the cool-but-easy-to-get-wrong way, and the easy-to-guarantee-correct-behavior way. For 3.0, the easy way is used.

Choosing 'stdio' is the easy way. It builds a C++ library which forwards all operations to the C library. Many of the C++ I/O functions are specified in the standard 'as if' they called a certain C function; the easiest way to get it correct is to actually call that function. The disadvantage is that the C++ code will run slower (fortunately, the layer is thin).

Other packages are possible. For a new package, a header must be written to provide types like streamsize (usually just a typedef), as well as some internal types like __c_file_type and __c_lock (for the stdio case, these are FILE (as in "FILE*") and a simple POSIX mutex, respectively). An interface class called __basic_file must also be filled in; as an example, for the stdio case, these member functions are all inline calles to fread, fwrite, etc.

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Internal Allocators

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