Boost is a set of library files with codes usable in the C++ programming language. It’s one of the most considerable projects of this nature, developed by professionals and volunteers globally for 21 years now.
A massive source
Boost is the most popular, portable, peer-reviewed and free reservoir of C++ libraries. It emphasises sources that combine well with the Standard C++ Library, seeking to be helpful for a wide array of developers and applications.
The latest version contains 161 individual libraries, several of which you can also find as independent sources. Some of its most prominent uses include multithreading, unit testing, random number generation and image processing.
The collection is impressive, including general-purpose libraries and operating system abstractions. There’s also a category of sources dedicated to template microprogramming and similar purposes, used by library developers to generate new libraries.
Boost uses templates to ensure efficiency and flexibility, providing users with generic elements usable in specific projects. It leans on the concepts of C++ meta programming and generic programming to ensure maximum efficiency for developers.
Most sources are header-based, using inline code to compile contents when you need them. That way, Boost is highly efficient in terms of execution time.
Boost works with most modern operating systems, including Windows and Linux. You can also use it on Mac if you get an additional program required for the installation. Some UNIX and Linux distributions even come with pre-build packages.
The community aspect
Boost is a community, researching and educating people on the best uses of C++ and library development. You’ll find mailing lists where you can ask questions and chat rooms where you can communicate with experts on anything C++ related.
Boost operates under an open-source, free grant called the Boost Software License, which is compatible with the GNU General Public License. The community encourages a variety of projects to implement it.
A highly functional framework
Although the documentation is a bit messy, this software has the most comprehensive and useful set of libraries for any C++ project. It’s an invaluable source for any developer working with this programming language. While you can use alternatives like Yaal for some purposes, Boost is your best option overall.