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Subject: Re: [boost] [http] Boost.Http formal review is finished
From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2015-08-17 15:22:14

On 8/17/15 9:55 AM, Glen Fernandes wrote:
> Robert wrote:
>> I notice that a couple of libraries submitted for formal review
>> haven't submitted to the incubator. This concerns me as one of the
>> motivations of the incubator was to make for information available and
>> avoid a scenario whereby libraries "snuck though" the review process and
>> ended up having some surprises which I was unhappy about.
> Could you elaborate on your concerns?

I don't follow all the reviews as closely as I'd like. But I do try to
keep tabs on those which might impact me. In 2007 there was the review
of Boost Exception which I didn't concern myself with as it never
occurred to me that it would impact me in anyway. After a week, it had
garnered two reviews. The review was extended another week. The final
announcement didn't indicate how many reviews it had but I doubt it was
more than two or three.

So this get's folded into boost and it turns out it's redefining a
fundamental boost configuration macro - I think BOOST_EXCEPTION which
was used by the serialization library. This added - without my or
anyone else's knowledge - many lines of new header code to the
serialization library and a whole new dependency. There were/are a
couple of other problems as well which are more subtle. I believe all
this could have been avoided had the review process functioned better.
This incident was main motivator for my making the boost library
incubator. I've been hoping that we increase the number of reviews per
library and certainly avoid the circumstance where a library alters the
functionality of existing boost components after only 2 reviews! I
believe there are other cases besides this one where there have been
insufficient number of reviews - though none has had the impact that
this one did.

> If a library is listed on the review schedule, has a link to source, has a
> link to documentation, and has had a mailing list thread requesting
> feedback: What information is not available to reviewers?

well, not all libraries in the review queue have that information in a
convenient manner. Consider the following libraries pending review

a) Extended complex numbers - Sounds like it might be useful. But to
check out the documentation and state of the package, one has to
download the *.zip file, expand it, This does not encourage potential
reviewers/users to inspect and comment on the package.

b) Singularity - can't browse the documentation without
downloading/cloning the package. It's been on the review queue for four
years and so far as we know no one has even looked at it.

But, all in all you're correct in that most of the information needed by
reviewers is available. I guess my concern is that it's not always
presented in a way which encourages users/potential reviewers to try the
package and commend on them in advance of the formal review. It's that
latter which I would like to encourage and think it would be helpful.

Robert Ramey

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