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Subject: [boost] Formalising the review process into a well specified workflow (was: Re: [Boost-announce] [metaparse] Review period star
From: Niall Douglas (s_sourceforge_at_[hidden])
Date: 2015-06-03 06:04:26

On 3 Jun 2015 at 5:07, Rob Stewart wrote:

> At this point, everyone is agreed to proceed, so this will be a lesson
> for future library submitters and review managers.

I think that is exactly the wrong conclusion to draw, and the past
drawing of that conclusion had led to us repeating, yet again, an
unpleasant and inefficient review compared to what it should have
been. No wonder the review pipeline ground to a halt in the past,
everyone just gets put off.

A much better conclusion to draw is this:

1. There is more than one kind of library peer review:

  a. "I'm working on this new library, I would like to hear comments
on it"

  b. "I have this preexisting mature library which I would like to
add to Boost, is Boost interested in it?"

  c. "I have an idea for a new library, would Boost be interested in

  d. "I have finished this library and I believe it is ready to enter


  e. "I have substantially refactored an existing Boost library into
a breaking change which affects other Boost libraries"

2. Different types of library review have different procedures, so

  a => Incubator
  b => Formal Review, no Review Manager
  c => boost-dev mailing list
  d => Formal Review, needs Review Manager
  e => Whatever the maintainer thinks best

3. Different kind of library review should have detailed, step by
step, "tick box" formalised procedures (formal workflow) to take the
(prospective) library author from where they begin to a successfully
completed conclusion with a minimum of inefficiency.

4. There is no shortage of free web tooling which can automate the
ticking of those boxes and walk library authors through the
formalised procedure. Indeed, Boost already is on Google Apps, and
Google Forms is one of the best free web tooling for forms. Unlike
most other Boost infrastructure needs (hint - is my volunteering to
upgrade Trac approved? If so, a ball needs to start rolling) where
our infrastructure requirements simply aren't there yet, for Forms
and workflow programming we are ready to go.

5. Ideally in the future a review manager would have their own form
with boxes to tick, and part of their form would be to check the form
the library author filled in i.e. the forms themselves feed into one
another as part of the programmed workflow.

If the community likes this idea, I can spec it up into another grant
proposal and submit that to the steering committee.


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