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Subject: Re: [boost] A Remedy for the Review Manager Starvation
From: Stewart, Robert (Robert.Stewart_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-05-17 11:01:22

Joachim Faulhaber wrote:
> Joachim Faulhaber wrote:
> >
> > Could you clarify how a review manager can make a
> > "accepted/not accepted"
> > decision in good faith without personally reading all discussion?
> (1) The RM as a responsible human being has complete freedom to read
> as much as he wants from the discussion.

I see the RM as completely responsible for the decision in this proposal. How the RM reaches that decision must be, as it presently is, left to the RM's discretion. The RMA is an added resource that reduces the RM's administrative burden.

I took Joachim's suggestion to be that the RMA would act as an RM, up to the point of announcing a decision on the list, instead passing collected and generated information to the RM for consideration. If the RM trusts the RMA's input, or the RM has independently verified the RMA's input, the RM may follow the RMA's decision, even going so far as to copy and paste the RMA's suggested summary message to the list.

Given that the RMs will be selected from the current pool, which implies Boost experience, knowledge, judgment, etc., and we've trusted them heretofore, this suggestion would not violate current expectations.

Joachim implied the notion of oversight, but could have been clearer on that point.

> (2) In many cases there is a clear majority vote, so the overall
> decision is pretty clear anyway.

This is a case in which the RM can readily forward the RMA's report, thus saving the RM a great deal of time and effort. This is a point Joachim forgot to stress: the current (small) pool of potential RMs is busy and often unwilling to take on yet another *volunteer* responsibility.

> (3) Being a team the RM learns that the RMA is a very competent person
> and he develops confidence in the RMA's judgement. BTW this kind of
> delegation in decision making is very common in may areas.

This also means that, should the RMA's own library be accepted into Boost in the future, the author can then be trusted to be a RM in the future. IOW, being an RMA is a means to train and mentor others to be competent RMs in the future. Simply being an accepted library author is scant proof of ability to be a RM.

> (4) The RM is not intended to be unburdened in all cases. If there is
> a controversial discussion and a tight vote, then the RM is requested
> to take responsibility and use his experience to find a final
> decision. Still the RMA may help as a partner in this decision
> process.

There are likely cases in which those qualified to be RMs feel unequal to being the RM for a particular library because of a lack of domain knowledge. In such cases, an RMA with strong domain knowledge can augment the other characteristics desirable in a RM, so the team enables a potential RM to be the RM for a library which would otherwise avoid the role.

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

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