Boost logo

Boost :

Subject: Re: [boost] Is program_options unmaintained?
From: Vladimir Prus (vladimir_at_[hidden])
Date: 2008-12-24 11:59:32

Peter Simons wrote:

> Hi Vladimir,
> > The right procedure to report a bug is via
> Ticket #2613.

I've added some follow-up questions to that issue.

> >> Does anyone still maintain the program_options library?
> >
> > I do, but these days I can't guarantee specific response time for
> > program_options questions.
> With free software, there are generally no guarantees for anything -- the
> Boost license states that quite clearly --, so it would be foolish to expect
> free software authors to respond within specific time frames. Anyone who has
> that expectation should be willing to pay for those services. I'm not paying
> you, so I expect basically nothing.
> However, when a library is being actively maintained, it means that someone
> *is* fixing bugs that come up. It might not happen overnight, it might even
> take a few weeks, but eventually reported bugs are going to be fixed. That
> is what makes the difference between code that's being maintained and code
> that is not.

There are different degrees of being maintained -- from "response is usually
within a day" to "officially discontinued". I can agree that response time
for program_options questions tend to significantly more than for, say, Boost.Build,
and it follows that program_option is less maintained. But for all practical
purposes, see below.

> I reported a bug twice, but received no response whatsoever. I have observed
> other people receive no response either, not even a mere "have no time right
> now, I'll look at it later". Given those circumstances, I don't think it was
> unreasonable of me to wonder whether the library is still being maintained.

Well, upon looking at your original email in my inbox, other of the reasons
I did not replied immediately is that your email does not clearly state what
the bug is exactly -- see my comments to the issue.

> >> More generally speaking, what is the procedure if it turns out that a
> >> Boost library *is* unmaintained?
> >
> > There is none, to the best of my knowledge. Do you want to become a maintainer?
> Why do you ask? Would you like to find a new maintainer for program_options?

Because while we can discuss at length whether the average historical
response time falls in the range of "unmaintained", and what to do about it,
the only thing that might make practical difference is somebody's help.

- Volodya

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