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Subject: Re: [boost] is review system in place is extremely slow? (was Re: [rfc] rcpp)
From: Andrey Semashev (andrey.semashev_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-03-01 12:46:38

On 03/01/2010 07:52 AM, Gennadiy Rozental wrote:
>> Well, the current queue isn't really a queue, as reviews can happen in
>> any order.
> Are they? Who is making the decision who comes first? Aside of lack of
> review manager?

Review wizards, I assume. When they, along with the author and review
manager select a time slot for the review.

>> Who said that I'm fine with C++ standard evolution paces? :) Really,
>> some things were begging for standardization for years, and the final
>> paper is yet to appear.
> Unexpected delays aside I find the current rate of C++ standard changes
> reasonable. We are dealing with non-trivial matters, which requires in
> most cases some time to think about and discuss.

I understand, and last thing I would've wanted in this area is being
hasty. But that doesn't change the shape of things - the standard is way
behind modern tendencies and technologies that are needed on a daily
basis. IMHO, by the time C++1x is out, it will be outdated already.

>> But we're talking of libraries here, not the standard. It's a much
>> lighter, fluid and flexible matter than any standard, and it should
>> not take that long time to accept.
> Well, I do not expect years either. Take Boost.Log for example. I
> honestly expect that for the library to get accepted it should be
> reviewed for period of at least 6 month. Until people try it in actual
> projects, write some code with it, it will never be clear if the
> candidate is viable. No amount of theorization within 1-2 week is going
> to be acceptable IMO.

If you want to base the accept/reject decision on practical experience
of the library users, then even 6 months is not enough. It becomes a
matter of years. But if that is the case I would suggest to drop review
practice altogether, at least in its current form. It would be much more
practical to follow the idea of separated Boost distributions - the core
libraries that were verified by time and other, less mature libraries
(perhaps, in individual packages).

The barrier for a library to enter the "hall of fame" of core libraries
can be rather high, and may require X years of practical usage and
include a review. But that review should not be too long since the
library itself should be well known already. On the other hand, in order
for a library to become a newbie under Boost umbrella, there should not
be a requirement of a long usage in the fields. It should be fairly
quick and easy to put the library into Boost, provided that formal
requirements are met.

>> I don't think sharing a review
>> manager between several parallel reviews is a good idea.
> I do not see why we need a strict rule here. If person is willing and/or
> if, for example, there is one month left in one review one can start
> another one taking 4 month... Ultimately review wizard has to approve
> the review manager.

I remember cases when a review manager was not able to conclude the
review results long after the review ended because he didn't have enough
time. It looks like shared/overlapping reviews will honor this
situation. I would prefer review managers to be dedicated to a single
subject at a time.

> Look for my other post on the subject, but in general I believe library
> author should be more active in soliciting the review managers. If we
> can split review manager's job in two, the first part can be done by
> someone submitted by the author oneself. Even if we keep the status quo,
> the library author should engage other authoritative figures on a list
> and ask for the help with review. And again, ultimately review wizard
> has to approve the review manager.

Well yes, active position on the author part may help but it's not
guaranteed to succeed. Quoting yourself, people here are volunteers and
you can't be sure to have a review manager once you need one. And
according to your proposal, if I don't get lucky, my library is rejected.

>>> 3. It should make more people willing to manage the review, given that
>>> procedure does not require paying significant attention to the library
>>> within the review period.
>> Is that so? The manager still has to check if the library meets formal
>> criteria for the review, read through all the reviews (not for a few
>> weeks, but for a few months) and take the final decision, doesn't he?
> But the pressure to do this within short period of time is smaller. In
> both cases it's the same amount of work, but spread over the different
> amount of time.

Perhaps, you're right and it will be easier for the review managers. I
never managed a review and my judgment may not be correct.

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