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Subject: Re: [boost] Boost Incubator Status Report
From: Rob Stewart (robertstewart_at_[hidden])
Date: 2014-11-08 05:45:55

On November 7, 2014 5:35:02 PM EST, Edward Diener <eldiener_at_[hidden]> wrote:
>On 11/7/2014 11:23 AM, Robert Ramey wrote:
>> Vladimir Prus-3 wrote
> The motivation behind the
>> design of the incubator is to "make participation easier" by
>decoupling the
>> preparation of the review from a specific 1-2 week time frame. It
>was also
>> specifically designed to not alter the actual Boot Review process.
>Other than lengthening the formal review process to encourage more
>people to participate I do not see any means to get people more
>interested in reviewing Boost libraries.

That is the notion behind the incubator: allow the review period to be open indefinitely, particularly in advance of the formal review period.

> As far as the incubator is
>concerned I feel it is a good idea but nobody is using it to comment on

Links from the review queue to the incubator page for each library could help people discover the incubator.

> As far as Boost reviews it appears that most programmers are
>afraid to even make comments about a potential library in which they
>may be interested. Maybe the specter of C++ experts scares them away. Maybe
>they feel that they might look foolish if they make a comment which is
>based on just a partial understanding of the library involved.

What leads you to that conclusion? There are multiple factors that prevent my commenting on a library:

 * No interest in the domain
 * No knowledge of the domain
 * Too busy

I realize I'm not in the "too afraid because of experts" camp you describe, but I've not commented on any of the libraries and it isn't due to fear.

>Finally there is a decided problem with the lack of people willing to
>review managers for a library. I think it would be a good idea to
>establish a pool of people, with their e-mail addresses, willing to be
>review managers and then when a library is on the review queue one of
>the review managers would send out e-mail to all people in the pool
>asking each one if he would be willing to be the review manager for a
>particular library. If no one at a given time in the pool will agree,
>then after some pre-established time period the process repeats itself.

I've offered to be a review manager a couple of times, but the libraries never went to review or another did the job. However, the last I looked there were multiple libraries I don't feel competent to judge.

Being a review manager is more than verifying that examples compile, that documentation exists, etc. One must be able to judge comments and reviews to decide between opposite views, etc. That requires domain knowledge and experience, if not expertise. There are fewer general purpose libraries on tap now.

Obviously, folks have more or less time at different periods of their lives, so one can go through periods of no or little participation.

There's also the real issue of changes to the industry. As one seeks interesting and lucrative or stable employment, one may target new kinds of development which can mean new languages. Thus, one may retain a more nostalgic interest in C++, but no longer be interested to invest the time needed to be a review manager. To solve those problems requires finding and engaging new blood.

When interviewing C++ developers, I find those using Boost libraries, at least beyond shared_ptr, are rare. The brand is known by relatively few, and it is used, to any significant extent, by fewer still. That implies the need to grow our ranks through some form of advertising.


(Sent from my portable computation engine)

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