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Subject: [boost] [AFIO] Formal review
From: Antony Polukhin (antoshkka_at_[hidden])
Date: 2015-08-31 15:40:33

> 1. Should Boost.AFIO be accepted into Boost?

This library must be in Boost, but not in it's current state. Some
polishing required and some improvements. Dependent libraries must be
accepted in Boost/dropped/documented and reviewed as part of AFIO. After
that another review must be done.

So it's NO for now.

> 2. What is your evaluation of the design?

NONBACTH operations seem right and good. Some simplification must be
applied, by possibly removing some of the overloads and reducing amount of
types visible to user (`handle_ptr`, `*_req`).
BATCH operations do not seem right. They must be removed or their interface
must be greatly reworked.
afio::path must be hidden from user or filesystem::path must be used (I'm
not 100% sure, but it looks like `\\?\` paths are OK to be in
More functions for everyday use may be provided (async_copy for example)

> 3. What is your evaluation of the implementation?

Header files must be split into multiple smaller ones. Multiple memory
allocations must be removed from library internals. Implementation must be

Recommendation: ABI stable part of AFIO may be moved in a separate git
branch to untie the AFIO library developer's hands. In that case new
version of AFIO may break the ABI without affecting users and older
versions could be removed from sources.

> 4. What is your evaluation of the documentation?

That's one of the biggest problems of the library. Documentation is not
structured and sometimes overcomplicated. Some notes for simplification:
* "AFIO single page cheat sheet for the very impatient" -> "Getting
started". Move table to the top of the page, replace the "Related types"
column with "Boost.Filesystem sync alternative", replace numbers with
* Move the "Example mini-programs written using AFIO" chapter right after
the "Getting started", rename chapter into "Tutorial", refactor second
example to not use batch operations and to use only free standing
functions. Third and fourth examples must be greatly simplified and
probably split into smaller examples.
* Move the content of "Step by step workshop building an AFIO-based
key-value store" into the "Tutorial" after the previous examples, rename it
into "Key-value store walkthrough", simplify and make shorter if possible
* "Compilation" section must be somewhere around "Getting started"
* Other docs must be after the "Getting Started," "Tutorial" and
* "Reference" section must be refactored. All the overloads must be
probably described and showed on a single page (all the overloads,
including those that explicitly accept dispatcher)
* Shorten and simplify the examples wherever possible.

> 5. What is your evaluation of the potential usefulness of the library?

Very very useful.

> 6. Did you try to use the library?


> 7. How much effort did you put into your evaluation?

About 20 hours.

> 8. Are you knowledgeable about the problem domain?

I have a fair amount of experience with asynchronous programming in C++ and
I have pretty extensive experience with designing interfaces for async
operations. Have not dealt with async fiesystem operations before.

Best regards,
Antony Polukhin

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