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From: David Abrahams (abrahams_at_[hidden])
Date: 2001-01-06 00:26:29

Just filling in some things I think Beman left out...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Beman Dawes" <beman_at_[hidden]>

> * They are very supportive of what Boost is doing. They see free C++
> libraries (and a web-site hosting those libraries) as very important, even
> crucial, to the future of C++.

We spent considerable time discussing ways to serve the whole C++ community
better. There seemed to be general agreement that the C++ community could
benefit from a much more comprehensive portal, along the lines of Of course, C++ has many more users than Python, so to serve
the whole community, the portal would need to scale up accordingly.

> * Peer-review and wide participation are seen as key factors
> distinguishing Boost from other efforts.
> * Boost can be viewed as a sort of community or club, where the members
> work well together.

This was just one of a few answers to the question "what is boost"?
The complete list, as I remember it, was:
  * A peer-reviewed development/collaboration process
  * A club
  * A website
  * A mission (to support the C++ language and community with useful free

> There is concern over how this can scale up as the
> Boost effort expands both in size and scope. There is concern that other
> efforts have degenerated into destructive warring factions and flame wars
> as they grew beyond a certain size. [Dave and I explained that the culture
> of Boost has so far been successful at discouraging self-destruction.]
> There was discussion of Boost as evolving into a hierarchy (or DAG) of
> communities, along domain lines.

And what would Boost become, if this happened? Viewing boost as a
development process, it would probably be good to encourage other
communities to adopt the same, or similar processes. If the DAG grew big
enough and fast enough, though, we could not demand it. If we get to this
point, should the website be called Boost? Would this be at the price of the
Boost developer community? Should we maintain the Boost C++ library
community underneath the Boost website?

One reason Beman and I are posting this is that Boost is really the product
of its participants. We want to know how you would like Boost to evolve.

> * Domain libraries are of great interest, both in the sense of a view
> there is a user need for the libraries themselves, and the possibility
> sub-groups working on domain libraries may be a good way for Boost to
> sustain future growth.
> * C++ libraries are viewed as a spectrum, ranging from base libraries
> the traditional C++ Standard Library, on out to fairly obscure domain
> libraries. Partially portable libraries were explicitly included in the
> spectrum, with the example given of a threads library portable to Unix and
> Windows but not to other platforms. The view was expressed that Boost
> should consider libraries anywhere in the spectrum, and that the C++
> Standards Committee might also consider a broad portion of the spectrum
> possible standardization (perhaps via non-normative Technical Report.)

Another possibility we've been thinking about is the definition of a new
category of C++ implementations that would admit a large class of C++
libraries which can't be portably implemented now. Today we have "hosted"
and "freestanding" implementations; perhaps we should add "workstation", or
"posix", or something else.


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