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Subject: Re: [boost] Any Chances for Boost Stable?
From: Stewart, Robert (Robert.Stewart_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-01-21 08:26:57

Artyom wrote:
> Is there any chance for Stable Boost version?

My guess? No.

First, you can have your own stable version by not moving to the latest release. You can even apply patches to earlier releases to pick up bug fixes added to later releases. That puts the onus on you, of course, and that means you miss out on new libraries, but it works.

Second, to have a stable Boost branch requires more maintenance effort by library maintainers. Since the focus is always on the next release, what with adding new features and refactoring designs -- the fun stuff -- you can imagine back-porting patches would not be a high priority. There could be, I suppose volunteers to be maintainers of each library in the stable branch, but I doubt many of the current maintainers will be among them and I doubt there will be enough volunteers to make the effort viable. Is that too pessimistic? Maybe, but I suspect it is just realistic.

Third, to manage a stable Boost branch requires a separate test and release process which requires still more resources. It's hard enough getting the necessary resources for the normal Boost releases. It doesn't seem likely to double them.

Various Linux distributions offer their own take on stable Boost versions. Folks go through a great deal of effort to create versioned Boost packages. I suspect some even apply patches to earlier versions. That doesn't help Mac OS or Windows users, of course.

I don't doubt the utility or desirability of stable Boost releases, but I don't think they are likely.

Rob Stewart robert.stewart_at_[hidden]
Software Engineer, Core Software using std::disclaimer;
Susquehanna International Group, LLP

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