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From: Peter Dimov (pdimov_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-10-27 11:32:23

Rob Stewart wrote:
> From: Beman Dawes <bdawes_at_[hidden]>
>> There is definitely a chicken-and-egg problem. Reviewers often want
>> fairly finished docs, but developers don't want to put effort into
>> finished docs unless a library is going to be accepted.
> Paul's question wasn't just about documentation. Can a proposed
> library, with some minimally sufficient documentation and
> framework sketch, be provisionally accepted before an author
> begins rigorously pursuiing the idea? That seems more than
> reasonable. There was much discussion regarding the efficacy of
> a Boost PBSP well in advance of most of the work done on it.
> That discussion gave credence to the idea before the hard work
> began.
> Sure, folks post queries as to whether there is interest in this
> or that library, but that doesn't have the same visibility as a
> formal proposal review, so fewer will seriously consider the
> proposal's value.
> Obviously, should a good idea prove unworkable, or should the
> design deviate too much from the proposal, then the library can
> still be rejected under this approach. IOW, provisional
> acceptance of a library does not guarantee final acceptance.
> Even if those changes aren't adopted anytime soon, may I suggest
> that documentation for an initial review not be part of the review.

Depends on where we want Boost to go. Do we want just a repository of fairly
useful libraries (for some broad definition of "useful")? Or do we want
Boost to be a "sandbox library working group", where library authors go to
get a feel of how the committee operates, to establish the infamous
"existing practice" that is often needed for a standard library proposal,
and so on?

This question has never been given a clear answer; I suspect that the reason
is that most Boost members want to have both. But "having both" will break
sooner or later, as Boost grows. It may already have broken but we can't see
it yet.

My personal opinion is that we should move away from the "anything goes as
long as it's useful" model and move even closer to a "sandbox LWG" model;
I'd go even further and suggest that we should have an "official" paper
submission process and an "official" agenda. In a "sandbox LWG" reviewing a
library without documentation is simply unacceptable, although reviewing a
documentation without library is not!

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