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Subject: [boost] "boost cold shoulder" (was proposal for #pragma once support)
From: Pete Bartlett (pete_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-06-09 17:25:34

>I brought this topic up a couple of months ago, and I got the "Boost
>Cold Shoulder".
>You see, I believe the head-honchos here are GCC aficionados and don't
>care much about Bill Gate's compilers.
>I hope you do better than I did.
>-Sid Sacek

I'm not any sort of honcho here so I hope you don't mind if I disagree.

Firstly, as an counter-example let me note there is currently a thread (not
for the first time!) about getting gcc visibility support into Boost. It has
historically had similar problems getting accepted that pragma once has. So
the problems are not MS-specific thing. On the contrary, Boosters are
generally highly pragmatic about supporting compiler suppliers whatever
their software "philosophy".

Rather, the Boost community has the structural bug-feature that each library
owner is the "dictator" who says what goes in that library. This has some

- changes across all libraries are hard (but not impossible) to achieve. On
the one hand you need to convince a whole slew of active library authors
that the change is wholly positive, but on the other hand no-one is going to
do the changes (and any relevant documentation and testing) for you - so
even seemingly small tasks are quite daunting and so even if the general
groupthink is that something is a good idea doesn't mean it gets done!

- I believe the same bug-feature is also at least partially responsible for
the problems on trunk that David Abrahams and Robert Ramey have identified
in another recent thread. Almost any library needs maintenance - new
compilers and platforms come along with new quirks or improvements - more
basic libraries may change underneath the library - bugs are found by users.
Thus the single maintainer model has problems if the single maintainer no
longer has time to devote to the task for whatever reason.

What I am saying is that no-one is cold-shouldering you but rather there is
no central authority figure who magically makes things happen.

I doubt any of the above is controversial and I'm sure most Boosters would
love to see these issues "fixed". But how to do so? No-one's being paid to
be here!


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