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From: james.jones_at_[hidden]
Date: 2007-07-06 17:22:24

From: "Jake Voytko" <jakevoytko_at_[hidden]>
> OK, I think it's time we try to remain professional and back off a little.
> Matias clearly didn't mean any harm by what he said, and he had good intent.
> Joaqu?n raises valid points in his email, and I think these need to be
> addressed, and negative discussions aren't going to advance the topic any.

I absolutely agree that no harm was intended. However, I don't think it's the job of Boost to try to right some perceived wrong in the general programming community - beyond the wrong of not having great open-source C++ libraries, of course! It's clearly the case that there are way more men than women programmers. Whether this is a major problem or not is debatable, and I don't think it's a debate that belongs on the boost-devel list. But even if it *is* a problem, it's not one we need or should try to solve. We already have a whole set of problems - ones involving C++ programming - that we need to solve and that this community was set up to solve.

The problem with "affirmative action" in open source projects is exactly the same as in regular hiring, i.e. the token minority brought in will be suspected of being not as good technically as the rest of the group. This is not because that minority can't be just as good or better, but because affirmative action itself is based around the idea of giving extra - undeserved - bonuses to these minorities. The paradoxical result may be that really deserving minority candidates may stay away if they have enough dignity. "I don't want your lousy handouts," they'll think.

Anyway, just as I don't think boost-devel is the place to debate whether an unbalanced sex ratio is a problem in programming, I also don't think it's the place to debate the pros and cons of affirmative action. So I will drop this now that I've had my say. Please let's not let Boost get distracted by this issue.

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