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Subject: Re: [boost] Maintenance suspended
From: Daniel Walker (daniel.j.walker_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-07-09 09:26:46

On Fri, Jul 9, 2010 at 7:48 AM, David Abrahams <dave_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> On Jul 8, 2010, at 8:28 AM, Christophe Henry wrote:
>> So, concretely, what is the problem? Do you have no time handling the
>> feature requests or is svn the problem?
> All of it.  I've lost track of the differences between trunk and release.  I have a pile of local changes that look like they were for something important, but need to be evaluated.  SVN operations are slow for me.  The presence of all the other libraries in the repo is a distraction.  The inability to do anything to a single library in SVN because of the directory structure is maddening.  All of these things are probably minor by themselves, but they add up.
>> If it is just about merging and doing some mechanical svn-related
>> tasks, this is a very workable solution and I gladly offer my help.
>> If it is about feature requests, this is a more complicated one (but
>> seemingly unrelated to svn) and you could also ask for support on this
>> list. Surely, someone competent will step forward and free you from
>> much work. You could simply review patches before commit. It would
>> also help the community by having more than one person familiar with
>> your libraries.
> My libraries, other than Boost.Python, are formally collaborations.  So in theory there should be other people to pick up the slack.  However, some of my co-authors have not been very active recently.

Maybe there should be two types of maintainers: there could be the
usual, actively maintained libraries and a new type of "passively"
maintained library. A passively maintained library could be modified
without the maintainers direct evolvement. But of course, the
maintainer would hold a veto prerogative over any change. So, when
someone submits a patch for a bug or feature request for a passively
maintained library,

1) if people on the list are interested and agree, then the patch can
be applied;
2) if there is a dispute, it can be brought to the attention of the
passive maintainer for resolution;
3) the passive maintainer can always veto.

This would only work when users/boosters take the initiative to learn
the code and submit a patch, but that's not unusual. Giving library
authors an opportunity to declare their intent to become passive
maintainers could be a good thing. For one, this would allow authors
of mature libraries to transition openly to other projects rather than
simply disappearing. Not everyone has the courage to recognize when
their circumstance are changing, as you did Dave. Thanks for taking
the lead on this!

Daniel Walker

And also thanks for retracting your suspension! Personally, I have
learned so much from your work with boost over the years. The more
active you are, the better off all the rest of us are!

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