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I've always felt that the 'right' solution was to emulate glibc and provide facilities for registering new format specifiers[1]. Then libraries could provide specifiers for everything that made sense and users could pick and choose.

Of course, there would be performance implications - not to mention the added complexity for implementors.

[1]http://www.gnu.org/software/libc/manual/html_node/Customizin...




What happens when your graphics library and your network library pick the same letter?

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The simplest solution (from the implementor's perspective) is probably to leave it to the user to reassign one. Allowing multiple-letter specifiers helps here. Coming from a C perspective, that's what I would prefer.

You could work out all sorts of namespacing and automatic reassignment schemes, of course.

I can't think of anything without trade-offs off the top of my head (I double that anything exists), but in my (limited) experience it's very workable.

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