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From: David Abrahams (dave_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-04-27 06:49:51

"Andrei Alexandrescu (See Website For Email)" <SeeWebsiteForEmail_at_[hidden]> writes:

> Thorsten Ottosen wrote:
>> In Lillehammer we rejected a policy-based smart pointer and it
>> should never have gotten that far; I mean, David H. spent a lot of
>> time writing the proposal and that time could have been saved.
> Although I understand "rejection" is an overstatement, I wonder how
> the committee deals with conflicts of interest.

That is an extremely volatile phrase and I suggest you choose a
different one. A "conflict of interest" suggests that LWG members
have a personal agenda that conflicts with the best interests of the
C++ community. The agendas of committee members come into play for
all kinds of reasons: implementors are concerned about how much work
it will be to build and test things, for example. Is that a "conflict
of interest?" Consider what happened with export.

> The ideological competitor to policy_ptr is shared_ptr, and while
> the former has zero backing up inside the committee, the latter is
> backed up by people who also get to lobby and vote.

You get to lobby just like anyone. As for voting, the designer of
shared_ptr doesn't show up at meetings, and you should know that I
wasn't around the LWG for discussions of Dave H.'s proposal, so I
exerted no influence on the reaction to it. I don't know about other
Boost members who happen to be on the committee, but I consider my
opinions on the designs to be fairly objective and certainly I have no
kind of "personal glory" at stake in what happens with PBSPs in the

I hope you'll tell me I'm wrong, but it sounds like you're saying that
Boost members who attend committee meetings, rather than voting based
on their best judgement of the technical issues, would try to push out
a PBSP design in order to somehow "win" ideologically. That would be
an extreme sort of pettiness; being accused of it would be very
insulting to me, at least.

> Now I'm not sure about others, but in such situation I'm biased.

<snip sarcastic mockery of arguments against PBSPs>

Everyone has biases, and they affect the way the process goes. You
can't design that out of the process no matter what you do.

> So the question would be, how does the committee deal with conflict
> of interests like that?

You really ought to take up question about how the committee works on
a committee reflector; this is the wrong place for it. There are only
a few people here who can respond and we don't represent the whole

> Because honest, if I were on the committee, every misplaced comma in
> the shared_ptr proposal would stick like a sore thumb to me, and I'd
> sure manage to convince others of the same.

Did you get any indication that Dave H.'s proposal was nitpicked to
death over things like commas?

Dave Abrahams
Boost Consulting

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