FastFormat 0.7.1 (alpha 8) released

FastFormat is an Open Source C/C++ Output/Formatting library, whose design parameters are 100% type-safety, efficiency, genericity and extensibility. It is simple to use and extend, expressive, flexible, and highly-portable (platform and compiler-independent).

FastFormat supports output/formatting of statements of arbitrary complexity, consisting of heterogeneous types.

FastFormat writes to output "sinks", which can be of arbitrary type. It implicitly supports any type that is structurally conformant with the standard library's string, and the library includes adaptors to allow writing to std::ostream, FILE*, speech (currently Windows-only), STLSoft's auto_buffer, C-style string buffers, and character buffers. Adaptation to a new type merely requires the definition of a single function.

FastFormat is robust. Both APIs are 100% type-safe - something neither IOStreams nor Boost.Format can claim - and with the Write API it is impossible to compile defective code.

FastFormat is fast. The processing of each statement involves at most one memory allocation to hold the entire statement, and each statement element is measured and copied exactly once. As a consequence, the library is on a par with (the type-unsafe) C's Streams (printf()-family) of functions, faster than C++'s IOStreams (by 2-5x) and Loki.SafeFormat (by 1-5x), and considerably faster than Boost.Format (by 5-17x).

FastFormat supports I18N/L10N by using numbered arguments, enabling reordering of arguments by exchanging format strings. The library comes with a number of resource bundles, classes whose instances can load sets of localised resource strings for use as format strings.

FastFormat does not contain any compiler-specific or platform-specific constructs. It supports UNIX (including Linux and Mac OS-X), and Windows, and should work with any operating system. It is known to be compatible with Comeau (4.3.3+), GCC (3.4+), Intel (8+), Metrowerks (8+), Microsoft Visual C++ (6.0+), and should work with any reasonably modern C++ compiler.

FastFormat is completely free and includes source released under a BSD-style license. Commercial customisations and related consultancy are provided by Synesis Software Pty Ltd;\)

FastFormat Training is provided by Synesis Software Pty Ltd; details at

Release 0.7.1 (alpha 8) contains the following changes:
* This release mainly contains forward-compatible changes to various inserters and conversion shims in anticipation of (access to) new components in the soon-to-be-released (Q4 2012) STLSoft 1.10; it also contains some functional improvements and new inserter and sink headers.
* WindowsMessageBox now attempts to elicit caption from top-level parent window of given window (if not NULL) when the caller specifies no caption
* added include/fastformat/sinks/iostream.hpp : a shorthand header that includes the FastFormat sink for IOStreams' std::ostream along with the standard header <iostream> in which std::cout and std::cerr are declared
* added include/fastformat/sinks/stlsoft/FILE_stream.hpp, which enables formatting to instances of STLSoft's stlsoft::FILE_stream and platformstl::thread_shareable_FILE_stream types
* added include/fastformat/inserters/ch.hpp, which defines the fastformat::ch inserter as an alias for fastformat::character
* added fastformat::to_sink() degenerate conversion shim
* NOTE: bundles shwild 0.9.20
* NOTE: bundles xTests 0.16.6
* NOTE: depends on STLSoft 1.9.115 (not bundled)

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Note: this release of FastFormat requires STLSoft 1.9.115, or later. Download from

Posted by Matt Wilson 2012-08-07

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