Boost logo

Boost :

Subject: Re: [boost] Boost Incubator Status Report
From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2014-11-05 18:01:29

Niall Douglas wrote
> On 5 Nov 2014 at 9:42, Robert Ramey wrote:
>> e) I would like to see a little more support from Boost Steering
>> Committee
>> on this effort. Specifically I would like to see the Announcement that
>> Boost endorses the Boost Library Incubator (www.blincubator) packaged and
>> distributed as press release so that it would show up in places like Dr
>> Dobbs Journal. ( and
>> (
>> It is a great disappointment to me that in spite of a fair amount of
>> effort,
>> I've been unable to get these sites (among others) to announce the Boost
>> endorsement of Boost Library Incubator.
> The lack of SC support for your Incubator came up in private email
> recently. It was observed that it was surprising that the SC had not
> invested money and allocated bodies in helping to advance your
> Incubator, and instead merely given a weak statement of vague support
> which got swallowed by noise.

FWIW - I'm not asking for money - I'm only asking for a press release and
a little push to get it announced on the website. I don't think
that that's a lot to ask - especially given the stuff I do see announced

> It was then observed that no formal request for anything but a statement
> of
> support had been made, and so therefore nothing more than a statement of
> support was given.

Great - I got that - now I've been asking for a press release sent under the
official Boost Steering Committee Aegis sent to the appropriate parties
along with a push to get it the announcement and link into the the
web site. That doesn't need any money. I don't think it's an unreasonable

> It could be concluded that if you formally ask for more, you might get
> more.

LOL - it could also be concluded that if one can't get something that
costs nothing - it's pointless to ask for financial support.

> If I were you Robert, I'd make a formal request to the SC for each of
> the following:
> 1. Financial support for the running of the Incubator.
> 2. The hiring of Wordpress consultancy to advise you where you have
> been having some struggle.
> 3. The hiring of someone to deeply integrate the Incubator into the
> Boost website. This could be the consultancy from 2.
> 4. Begin work on drafting new rules for submitting a new Boost
> library to default to the Incubator, the old method of going via the
> wizards is removed.
> ... and see what happens.

I really appreciate the advice and the good will in offering it. But I have
to say I have a whole different way of looking at how the world works.


> 1. Financial support for the running of the Incubator.

I honestly don't think financial support would help anything. I do this in
my spare time and it doesn't take all that amount of time. The main thing
is that I don't really like making this thing work - it's not my think. And
a wordpress expert could probably do it in half the time I can... But
financial support wouldn't create time.

> 2. The hiring of Wordpress consultancy to advise you where you have
> been having some struggle.

Monitoring and managing a wordpress consultancy would probably cost
more time than I currently spend on it. Ideally I'd like help from a
who spends time on this as part of his job. As an aside I'd say that:
a) Wordpress, like all web design is a pain.
b) Wordpress, like many web design framework delivers huge functionality
for relatively few lines of code. Its an excellent learning experience for
hard core C++ programmer. Its a window on where we're missing the boat
and how far we can and actually must eventually go. It's an anti-dote to
narrow perspective that we have from sticking to boost/C++/Standard
c) Actually the incubator has most of the functionality it needs already.
more resources for enhancement would be useful but not urgent. The
soon to be working "sponsorship" opportunities will also apply to web page
enhancement - so maybe someone will step up just to get free exposure
to all the C++ eyeballs which you guys are going to send to the page.

> 3. The hiring of someone to deeply integrate the Incubator into the
> Boost website. This could be the consultancy from 2.

I think the Boost Website needs an upgrade and re-thinking. I don't
think anything should be "deeply integrated" into it. Currently it's
not dynamic enough. That's why we have a lot of important pages
added to the trac wiki. Thats why the Boost Steering Committee made
its own website. Ideally this Boost website should be more of
a "facade" or something more like the Boost Library Incubator is now
where separate pages/posts/components can be composed/re-composed
very easily. Wordpress is actually very good at this. In this scenario
the Incubator could be just linked into something which looks seamless.
You can see my thinking in the incubator itself. It's really a seamless
over disparate repos, issues, docs, etc to make it look like integrated.
I leveraged on all the other stuff that's out there - and I can drop any
of it in an instant. This is the way of the future. Note I didn't even
have to steal or copy anything - I just linked it all. The time is spent
on figuring out how to link it together.

In this context, "deeply integrating the incubator" disappears as a task.

> 4. Begin work on drafting new rules for submitting a new Boost
> library to default to the Incubator, the old method of going via the
> wizards is removed.

What I would like to see is:

a) Those who comment on libraries are encouraged to add them to the
incubator. This makes them available permanently to anyone
who is interested in a prospective library.

b) Users of libraries in the incubator are encouraged to add
formal reviews.

c) The review wizard states that when time is appropriate for
a review - not in the middle of release or some other fiasco.
There hasn't been a review for a while, and there are worthy
candidates in the review queue,
i) he will select the next library for review giving priority to any
libraries which already have the most number of "pre-reviews"
in the incubator.
2) reviewers are encouraged to post their reviews in the

The first time this happens it will be sort of "test run" of the system
which I realize might not be successful. Even if recognized as
successful, surely it would indicate the need for corrections
and/or enhancements. (I'm a great believer in evolution vs
intelligent design).

I think there's wide agreement that boost needs to evolve and I see
significant efforts in this direction - modularization, incubator. This
is a good thing.

It seems that one vision is of boost evolving to a stronger, and better
funded organization and more influential organization with a beefed up
infrastructure. The idea is that this would permit it to continue to grow
in spite of the increase in costs that this entails.

I disagree with this vision - I think it gets things upside down. And I
boost should be looking at ways to shrink infrastructure requirements. I
the future boost looking like:

a) Website composed of links to other ideas - much like we've done with
modularized libraries, incubator etc.

b) I would like to see testing outsourced to users. That is, when you
a library, you're encouraged to run the tests and the test results get
posted to the common dashboard. Boost would be responsible for seeing
that the dashboard works.

c) I would like to see deployment of Boost outsourced so software
like Cygwin, Debian, Microsoft, and who knows who else. A Boost certified
wouldn't necessarily contain all the libraries. There might be a subset of
useful ones distributed by CGal and/or Cinder. There might be a math subset
distributed by CERN. There might be threading one distributed by Intel as
part of TBB. etc. This would

1) implement an effective way of deprecating libraries. Out of
libraries wouldn't be "de-certified". It's just that distributors would
decline to
include them.

2) Permit Boost to get ever bigger without users having to deal with ever
distributions. The problem isn't so much the size of the distributions.
The problem
is more that when the distribution get's big, the chances increase that
a snafu which inhibits testing/building but isn't really related to the
functionality which one is interested in.

3) This would evolve the role of boost from Review, Testing, Deployment to
a role of Review/Certification

d) I would hope that Boost doesn't evolve to a funding organization. This
be a source of more disputes. I would prefer to see.

1) encourage of a mechanism where interested parties sponsor more specific
functions/libraries. Examples,

- How about Lockeed F-35 development organization funding or implementing
the functionality in Safe Numerics. Can you believe that the actually code
thing in C++ without some sort of functionality like this? It would be
crazy - but I bet they do it. The could get this functionality for
.000000001 %
of what they currently spend. Alternatively, they could be encouraged to
develop it themselves and make it open source so the rest of can test it,
reject it, certify it and/or debug/improve it. I've been waiting for a call
But so far the phone hasn't rung.

- How about getting ? to sponsor the CMake page in the incubator? That
would be useful and they could flog there stuff - Actually I'll try to get
to maintain the page in exchange for including their logo. Wish me luck.

- How about getting NVidea or ? to sponsor the library Boost Compute.
who expresses an interest in SIMD computing can not be subjected to
an NVidea logo and link. Of course NVidea wouldn't get that for free -they
need to work it out with the author.

- How about getting Toyota and other car makers to support enhancement
of Boost Concept Checking so they diminish unexplained acceleration.

- How about getting US Department of health and human services to
sponsor Boost Test and/or Boost Mock to diminish the Obamacare website
fiascos. Heck the already spent 500 million $ for the worlds record time
waster - I'm sure the authors of these packages would love to get
a $100,000 check in the mail.

I suppose I belabored the point - oh well.

In short the trick to permuting boost to grow is to expect it to do less!!!!

All of the above would require

a) us getting resolved issues of dependencies. Progress has been made here
but there are still issues to be addressed.

b) making a new versioning scheme.

c) A re-thinking the website.

I'm sorry I got carried away I work alone and don't have anyone to talk to.

Robert Ramey

View this message in context:
Sent from the Boost - Dev mailing list archive at

Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at