Boost logo

Boost :

Subject: [boost] [review queue] Proposed new policy to enter the review queue (was: Re: [review queue] What to do about the library review queue?)
From: Niall Douglas (s_sourceforge_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-03-16 20:47:12

> This implies that the problem is a lack of review managers. I see my
> other email wasn't replied to. Perhaps because it is easier to talk
> about review managers. So let me sum up my other response to see if we
> can get some discussion here:

I did intend to reply to your earlier email to say you made a lot of
good points I hadn't considered. Unfortunately sick children intervened,
I was stuck in Hospital A&E until 4am last night due to a fever we
couldn't break (all ended up well, fever broke this morning).

In your earlier email you made the extremely valuable point that one
third of the queue is in the process of being cleared, which I hadn't
considered. Let's assume my estimate that 25% of the queue would never
pass a review due to a glaring deficiency. That means that the "real
queue problem" is just 9 libraries. I also am pretty sure at least two
of those libraries the author has given up on getting a review and so
are stale, so it could be that the true backlog is just 7 libraries, or
about 30% . That's manageable.

It's a really a problem of *optics*. It *looks bad* to the wider public
if we have a really big review queue well exceeding *15%* of all
libraries already in Boost. As Edward says, it puts people off
submitting, creates morale problems etc. Part of the solution I think
needs the queue to be constructed and presented differently, and that is
what the rest of this email is about.

> * Not having a review manager might be an indicator of not enough
> interest in a library. It is the job of the author to ensure there
> is enough interest by the community. Perhaps the author hasn't done
> enough promotion. Maybe more solicitation on the ML is required or
> perhaps people just don't find the solution interesting. One person
> saying, "that sounds like a neat library!" shouldn't constitute
> interest.

That last sentence stood out for me i.e. "One person saying, "that
sounds like a neat library!" shouldn't constitute interest."

I began thinking that that could help a lot with preventing unready and
uninteresting libraries entering the review queue in the first place.

Here is my proposal:

1. All libraries in the review queue without managers attached are
removed (including my own!) and the authors emailed to say the following
new policy applies. The review queue is therefore emptied.

2. For a library to enter the review queue in future, it requires at
least one (and preferably more) named members of the Boost community to
publicly endorse the library to enter the review queue. Their names will
be listed alongside the library in the review queue page at

3. Endorsing a library has NO RELATION to review managing a library.
Indeed if only one person endorses a library for review, they are not
permitted to act as review manager.

4. To find someone to endorse a new library for review, the library
author ought to ideally canvas for a library's motivation before they
ever begin writing or designing it, but failing that they need to
approach boost-dev and publicise their library seeking someone to
publicly endorse it for review. Other forums work too e.g. reddit/r/cpp,
the Incubator or anywhere else. Ideally I'd prefer if the Incubator
*was* the place where people endorsed a library for review and their
name automatically was added to the review queue page, but I appreciate
that's a lot of scripting.

I am personally highly unsure of Robert's suggestion (he claims it was
mine, it was not) that every author of a library entering the queue
needs to review manage a library first. Speaking for myself as someone
who has managed a review three times now with a fourth time starting
tomorrow, I would be highly unsuitable to make a recommendation on a
domain far away from anything I've ever used, I'd be likely to recommend
the wrong thing through ignorance.

The above proposed policy effectively pushes the bottleneck higher up
the chain, but I think that's no bad thing. Library authors, myself
included, like to build cathedrals irrespective of whether anyone will
ever use them nor appreciate them. Currently it's too easy to build a
library nobody will ever use and get it into the review queue where it
will languish for many years because no review manager will touch it.
That part needs to change.


ned Productions Limited Consulting

Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at