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Subject: Re: [boost] Respecting a projects toolchain decisions
From: Gordon Woodhull (gordon_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-01-01 12:48:43

Hi Dean,

I happen to agree with what you are saying about there not being much support for collaborative development before review (for people who want that), and IMO git does sound neat, but -

> On-going development of the library can follow that model and the
> "review" becomes more a regular part of daily things that happen on
> the developer's mailing list. The "management" of the review could be
> as simple as setting up a Wordpress Poll or something similar to get
> an actual "vote" from the members of the community -- not in an
> anonymous manner of course.

You are undervaluing what a review manager does here. A big part is to moderate the discussion, find points of agreement, and work out compromises on individual points - as well as deciding where there is not going to be agreement at all. A poll would certainly not cover this. It is more like consensus-building than voting. I could imagine tools that would help with this (e.g. email re-threading), but I haven't seen any yet.

In a way a review manager is an advocate for the library who is not as ego-burdened as the author(s).

> Sure, but that doesn't make the process collaborative -- which is
> actually my main "beef" with the current way things are going. And,
> even if someone were to re-write a signals implementation, there's no
> need to actually fork it as a separate project as it could very well
> just be an evolution of the implementation and just get the
> contribution in as part of the normal process. Then, the release
> managers just make a determination of whether to actually get a
> certain version of the signals implementation from one repo, or get
> another from another repo.

This seems to shift a lot of the decision-making to the release managers, who are already overworked. Review managers can better focus on their individual libraries and judge whether the conditions on acceptance were fulfilled. Joachim's proposal for review manager assistants would lighten their workload considerably.

Maybe there is a case for maintenance review managers?

This is a complex social process, and tools aren't going to make it easy. But they can help people make better judgements, and follow through better.

Thank you for raising many interesting ideas,

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