Boost logo

Boost :

From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2006-10-20 13:00:03

Giovanni Piero Deretta wrote:
>> Conduct student-mentor exclusively through public channels
> This would also be great. While our mentors have been very helpful,
> more comments on our problems would have been useful. I would mandate
> that all *technical* communications should be public.

I have to say I think this is not at all a good idea.

In development of a "speculative" idea, there are lots of failed
experiments. Doing this in public would only consume lots of time
and distract from job at hand.

I think a better approach would be for software developers
(us included) to keep a log of what we've been doing. This
would include a record of the failed approaches that had been
tried and discarded. This would eventually form the basis
of the "rationale" and be very handy when a project is submited
for review (formal or otherwise).

Personally, I think the idea of software development as a
collaborative activity is overrated. I see it as more personal.
Of course criticism (constructive and otherwise) is a public
activity. So I think those public dissicussions which speculate
on how libraries should be designed and what they should
include and not include are much less valuable than those
discussions which revolve around a specific example of the
implementation of an idea. The former is sort of more fun,
and the later can be more difficult and painful - but I think
its ultimately more productive.

Obviously, this is a subjective assessment based on one's own
personal style and character. I'm sure others will have a
different view.

>> Maintain code, docs and tests in parallel
> I'm guilty of not doing this, so yes, mentors should *require* their
> students to have docs and test up to date.

I think that the projects are really in the early stages of development
rather than being refined for "release". So I think its pre-mature
to insist upon this level of formality.

Robert Ramey

Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at