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Subject: Re: [boost] Core libraries should separated from experimental libraries
From: Nevin Liber (nevin_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-11-20 16:14:49

2009/11/20 David Bergman <David.Bergman_at_[hidden]>

> You think all developers are at an equal footing? In my limited experience,
> only having worked in this field for 30 years and led a few hundred
> developers in total, there is a huge difference between Good and Regular
> developers.

The difference as I see it is that the good developers are the ones helping
everyone, including themselves, to become better developers.

> I fail to see how (i) point out that huge difference in skills (and
> cognitive performance) between developers, and (ii) suggest that the tools
> provided by Boost should be for the upper layers, is condescending.

Unless you are putting yourself in the lower category, it is condescending.
 It encourages "appealing to authority" arguments instead of teaching,
learning and mentoring.

> Honestly, real C++ is not for junior developers. Period. Part of the
> language can be used by a junior developer, and even part of Boost
> (shared_ptr + some collection types and traits), but most (of C++ - C)
> cannot.

Really? What parts can't be used? RAII? Exceptions? Templates?
 Boost.Bind? Boost.Lambda? Boost.Function? Etc., etc.

We use all that stuff (and more), and we (junior and senior developers) are
making better designs and writing better code now than when those things
weren't available.

The real problem is that most developers, junior and senior alike, don't
learn how to write good, modern C++. And Boost is a part of modern C++.

> > The issues I see with boost have (almost) nothing to do with 'average'
> vs. 'star' developers,
> You think that distinction is not real?

I find that more of the issues tend to be because of experience, not talent.
 The junior people may not know, for instance, the tradeoffs between using
an algorithm and a bind expression instead of a hand coded loop. They may
not even know enough to consider using the algorithm and bind expression.
 Junior people might not know why things like Separation of Concerns, or One
Class, One Responsibility is important. Etc., etc.

> and how much expertise is required to get the most out of boost (though it
> certainly plays its role).
> Yes, agreed. It does play a huge role, to get outside of shared_ptr and a
> few collection goodies.

An organization that categorizes between "Good" developers and the rest is
in danger of topping out at the level of their "Good" developers expertise
and biases, because the rest of the developers never get to use what isn't
blessed by the "Good" developers. How does an organization like that ever

Nevin Liber  <mailto:nevin_at_[hidden]>  (847) 691-1404
Sent from Chicago, IL, United States

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