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Subject: Re: [boost] RFC: Community maintained libraries
From: Steven Watanabe (watanabesj_at_[hidden])
Date: 2013-12-05 16:39:18


On 12/05/2013 12:59 PM, Alexander Lamaison wrote:
> Andrey Semashev <andrey.semashev_at_[hidden]> writes:
>> I think Alexander is making a good point that the membership in the Community
>> group should represent the right to apply changes and not an obligation to do
>> active maintenance of every library in Boost. Such an obligation is
>> unrealistic to fulfill, indeed. But for one, I'd like to be able to make
>> changes to the libraries I don't develop or maintain.
>> There is a slippery edge in this idea though. While I'd welcome people making
>> fixes and relatively small improvements to the libraries I maintain, I'd feel
>> unease if design decisions were made without my consent.
> I anticipate this only happening in two rare situations, one extremely
> rare. The more common case would be where a maintainer is uncontactable
> or unable to devote enough time to make the changes.

This has never been a real problem in the past for minor
changes, provided that someone with commit access is
motivated enough to:
- Understand the library well enough to avoid
  accidentally breaking something
- Write the fix
- Write test cases for the fix
- Take responsibility for any problems that appear
- etc.

The administrative overhead of asking for permission
on the list is relatively minor. (My usual policy
is Email 1: Okay to commit? Email 2: It's going in,
unless someone objects immediately.)

For major changes, there will be problems, so if
the maintainer is missing, then whoever is doing
the work needs to be willing to step up as the new

> The second, rare
> case would be where, after exhaustive debate on the list, the community
> is overwhelmingly in favour of a direction for the library but the
> maintainer simply refuses. It's hard to see any reason why the
> maintainer should be able to veto the whole community for all time.

I don't see any point in discussing this. I don't
expect this situation to come up, ever. Not to mention
that in such a situation, it's quite possible that
the maintainer is right anyway, since he presumably
knows the library better than anyone else.

In Christ,
Steven Watanabe

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