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Subject: Re: [boost] Updating the Boost Review Process Was: [GGL] Bost.Polygon (GTL) vs GGL - rationale
From: Jose (jmalv04_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-11-18 12:54:29

On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 5:09 PM, John Phillips
<phillips_at_[hidden]> wrote:
>  The author, the reviewers, and the review manager were also all quite
> conscious of the existence of GGL. This existence was not considered a show
> stopper in any of the reviews posted, which is where the Boost community
> expresses such concerns.

Obviously! A paper, a presentation and multiple iterations had been
produced and discussion ensued.

It is obvious that the GTL author and the reviewer had close ties, as
clearly acknowledged in the GTL paper. I assume these were just email
discussions but please confirm there were no business ties, just to be
100% clear !!!

In these non-technical issues (some call it politics) some people have
a confrontational attitude and other don't, it varies by culture. If
you really want candid opinions then you should ask in private. Again,
if you don't foresee a problem then you will not ask in the first

In the same vein, I have received private email supporting what I was doing!

Also, it's hard to evaluate big company-sponsored libraries. My Boost
experience has been that the authors have it as one of their work
objectives and then when they don't the library stalls. But this is
another topic ...

>  I don't recall a single reviewer stating the ability of multiple authors to
> contribute algorithms as an objective for them. I may be forgetting
> something, so please point me to it in the archives if so. If not, then I do
> not consider this a community objective. Historically, I see no evidence for
> it as a standard Boost concern, either. Again, please correct me if I'm
> missing something.

This one came this morning (it's in the thread started by my GGL
review) but if you look carefully there are more. Also check reviews
for broad libraries, like GIL, that even the authors had that as an
objective !! It's logical that for a broad field you can not pretend a
single person will be able to provide all the algorithms.

Hi Jon,

I have a slightly unconventional spatial index that I would like one
day to submit to Boost; I was hoping that we would have a Boost
geometry framework that I could port it to, and as you may have
noticed I'm unhappy that we instead have two incompatible ones...

>  Does the community want a high quality generic geometry library? I think
> the answer to that is well established as yes. Is this considered by the
> community to be equivalent to a library where many people can contribute
> algorithms? I see no evidence presented that it is.

You have some advice above on how to gather this info and one proof
from an email comment.

I apologize if some of my comments were harsh towards the wizard. This
is probably not fair.

I think this discussion is largely irrelevant now. Long emails make it
very hard for people to join and give their opinion.

Someone should get the private opinion from different
reviewers/authors and get a conclusion (and act on it)

I was reading your comments before and I felt you thought there was
not a problem but I continue reading and I feed you acknowledge we
have a problem and we only need to find a solution.

If you acknowledge there is a PROBLEM I can give you my comments
offline to work towards a SOLUTION.

>  How are we supposed to determine whether the correct way to solve a broad
> problem is a single library that tries to satisfy everyone, or a few
> different libraries that are more focused on specific tasks? Are we going to
> impose some "pre-review" process where we decide whether the community
> considers this to be a broad library case, then if we do a second step where
> we decide whether this case is best served by a single library or by
> multiple smaller libraries? How are cases of split votes decided? Who has
> the final say? What if the involved authors (who have actually implemented
> something and so know things the rest of us don't) strongly disagree with
> the conclusion? If consensus is measured by votes, what fraction of the
> votes counts as a consensus? If there is a minimum, what number meets that
> minimum?
>  In short, the questions you are asking are things every individual reviewer
> should already be considering. Does this library meet the standards we want
> for Boost? That already covers your concerns.

e.g. see comment from one user above !!

>  In the Polygon review, 4 people said no and gave their reasons for saying
> so. 6 people said yes, and also gave their reasons. The review manager, who
> is well versed in the technical issues of the library weighed the strength
> of the different arguments and found the yes arguments not only more
> numerous, but also more persuasive than the no arguments. He proceeded to
> address the no arguments in the review result and explain why he did not
> find them persuasive. So, every member of the Boost community had the
> opportunity to raise the issues you have and support them.

Again, yes, the reviewer is an expert in the field but not in the
other application domain (GIS) that was of interest to reviewers.
Otherwise the feedback would not have been so directed to one of the
libraries vs the other.

>>>  The existence of another library is not a persuasive technical argument
>>> in
>>> this case, nor is the name change for the Polygon library. I have
>>> explained
>>> why above, as well as in other responses.

Check Phil Endecott's comment above and his polygon review, his
arguments are quite clear!

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