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From: John Phillips (phillips_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-06-05 14:25:58

John Phillips wrote:

> Has anyone (other than Tom and Ron) looked at the review queue lately?
> ...
> So, now the question. What can we do to improve the situation? Is
> anyone willing to sign on? Is there so little interest in the work the
> developers have done that we should say "Thanks for the effort, but
> we're not interested right now?" Some response is needed, in place of
> the silence we have seen so far.
> John Phillips

   Some of the responses so far convince me that we need to clear up
confusion about what the qualifications are for a review manager. To
some extent, this is a judgment call on the part of the Wizards, but it
is also a reasonable topic of conversation for the whole community.

   I have no reason to consider my opinions definitive, but I'm the one
who started this conversation so I shouldn't just lurk with my opinions.
With that in mind, here are the qualifications that come to mind. This
is not a complete list or proposal, since I haven't given the question
enough thought for that, yet. Most of the points are self-evident enough
that I don't think detailed explanations are needed.

1) Very familiar with the relevant parts of the language for the
submission in question

2) At least solid working familiarity with the problem domain

3) Ability to draw technical content out of sometimes contentious

4) Willingness to suspend personal preference enough to recognize the
rationales and strengths of the arguments submitted by all reviewers

5) Time to commit to the review that is adequate for digesting and
summarizing all the submissions

6) Solid written communications skills to prepare the summary

7) Familiarity with prior boost reviews, including submitting reviews
and participating in the discussions about how to improve a library

8) Willingness to ask questions when the unusual arises

9) Ability to make a well reasoned decision at the end of the process,
even in the cases where it will not make everyone happy

   That is a reasonable starting place from my perspective. What I do
not think is necessary is that the manager have a history of
successfully submitting libraries. While that is certainly a worthy
qualification, many of the library authors just don't have time to also
be the sole managers. Plus, managing a successful review is a different
skill set from writing a successful library: especially in the case
where the best available outcome for the review is a rejection that
includes a clear critique and plan for how to improve the submission.


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