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Subject: Re: [boost] [review queue] Proposed new policy to enter the review queue (was: Re: [review queue] What to do about the library review queue?)
From: Andrzej Krzemienski (akrzemi1_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-03-17 08:52:17

2017-03-16 21:47 GMT+01:00 Niall Douglas via Boost <boost_at_[hidden]>:

> > 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.

I like the idea. Of course, regarding the endorsements, you now have to
define who qualifies as "Boost member". Is it anyone who signed up for
boost-dev mailing list?

Another, similar suggestion. When we were planing for review with Robert,
we were already aware of two people having informally committed to
submitting a review. I liked the idea a lot. Maybe it can be formalized.
One of the criteria for review-readiness could be to have at least N (where
N = 2 or similar) people who declare that they would submit a review. This
declaration is not binding.

This prevents the situations where a review ends in the rejection due to
lack of reviewers. I am not sure if it is the same as endorsement.


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