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Subject: Re: [boost] Boost leadership (was: Re: Boost.Experimental Re: [variant] Maintainer)
From: Niall Douglas (s_sourceforge_at_[hidden])
Date: 2015-07-07 07:46:40

On 6 Jul 2015 at 18:29, Rob Stewart wrote:

> > Since his departure there hasn't been a dependable, reliable source
> > of support for those outside Boost who wanted something fixed at a
> > holistic level. Or indeed much support for anyone inside Boost.
> > Trying to change or upgrade infrastructure is a Kafka-esque soul
> > draining affair - even getting the Boost SSL cert replaced, which
> > *still* hasn't happened, has proven that. Nobody knows who to go talk
> > to about something half the time because the lists of names
> > responsible for infrastructure are so out of date.
> Several times, people who didn't know what was necessary tried to help,
> but many times folks were talking past one another with each party
> thinking the other would do something that didn't happen. Indeed, I
> thought things were moving on that front.

The traditional solution to that is to attach specific names to
responsibilities, and to ping them every six months to ensure they
are still willing to hold that responsibility.

Somebody has to regularly do the pinging of course. c.f. my previous
email to Michael about making keeping lists fresh automatic.

> > It shouldn't be as hard as it is to contribute to Boost outside the
> > libraries you maintain. It shouldn't be hard to upgrade
> > infrastructure at all. It should be *easy*.
> When infrastructure grows organically and a small number of people do
> most of the work, it can be hard to effect changes. That's life. Add to
> that during goals and ideas of what should be done and it's easy to
> understand why things move slowly.

I disagree profoundly with this statement.

Things happen here at a snail's pace, if at all, because of the very
low quality management processes in place. It should never occur that
people talk past one another or parties think the other side is going
to take action first. It should never occur that a small number of
people, in which there has been remarkably little churn over the
years, do almost all the work.

Other open source orgs, and ones much larger than Boost, don't have
these scalability problems. They also quite literally teach this
bread and butter management stuff in first and second year
Management. It's very well understood.

> > It definitely shouldn't be the case that Boost infrastructure is
> > rotting away, and nobody is doing anything about it and any attempts
> > to get the steering committee to move on this go nowhere, despite
> > repeated attempts by myself and others.
> You continue to expect more of the Steering Committee than is in its charter.

You misunderstand my criticism.

The Boost Steering Committee has the legal power to set any role for
itself it chooses. The fact you don't is *your* choice not to do so.

That is the source of my criticism. You have the power to do a lot
more than you do, and you actively choose to not do so, or appoint
subcommittees who would do so.

> > What he has encouraged me to do instead is to try once again at
> > getting you to act, so here we go:
> >
> >!topic/boost-steering/VNYtWFnZuug
> That proposal is not all that different from one you proposed earlier.
> The Committee is awaiting some legal feedback to the best of my
> recollection, but is not averse to trying something like what you've
> proposed.

That's because I first sent proposals to boost-steering a year ago,
and nothing has changed. Now I am repeating myself.

> I appreciate your zeal and effort on behalf of Boost. I also appreciate
> your attempt to be positive despite your ongoing sense of frustration.

You have an enormous asset in the form of Jon Kalb.


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