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Subject: Re: [boost] CMake Announcement from Boost Steering Committee
From: Niall Douglas (s_sourceforge_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-07-21 20:50:36

On 21/07/2017 16:55, Peter Dimov via Boost wrote:
> Niall Douglas wrote:
>> Well, that's just ignorant and self serving elitism.
> Remarkable how much this ignorant and self-serving elitism could do for
> the C++ community over the years. Surely by accident or by mistake.

Some would say that what has been achieved so far is a pale shadow of
what would have been achieved without the self-serving elitism. If you
look at the bits of Boost which got into the C++ standard, they are very
obviously the simple bits. There's a lesson in that.

>> A steering committee of non-Boost-developers stands a far better
>> chance of...
> ... changing Boost into non-Boost, because everyone feels the need to
> remake things that are alien to him in his own image.
> Boost has been created and has been maintained (not just in a technical
> sense) by developers, and what it is today reflects it. A steering
> committee of non-Boost-developers is capable of producing something
> good, but this good thing will no longer be Boost, except by name.

No, Boost has been created and has been maintained and funded by its
three main stakeholders, only one of which is Boost library developers.
Boost library developers are a quarter to a third of that
stakeholdership - important, sure, but not a majority like they think
they are. A big stakeholder is the user base, most of whom are thrilled
with this decision, mostly by its symbolic significance rather than any
love of cmake. The other big stakeholder is the C++ leadership and WG21,
most of whom are also pleased with this decision as it suggests Boost
may yet have some relevance as a standards incubator into the future.

Now, none of the above will be popular things to say on boost-dev, there
is a widespread belief here that Boost can't exist without the library
developers and that's all that matters. But equally, Boost can't exist
without the C++ ecosystem either, nor can it exist without the people
who behind the scenes make the mailing list, website, servers and
financial accounts all work.

And call me old fashioned, but Boost can't exist without users using it
either. Anyone can build a marvelous cathedral. But what's the point if
nobody ever marvels at it because nobody ever uses it? I really think
that top quality libraries can never be truly top quality unless there
is a significant, large, enthusiastic user base for them who finds them
amazing. Bigger the better. You need to *know* your cathedral is
marvelous through userbase, not just believe it personally.

I *definitely* don't think libraries should be standardised without that
for sure, and remember Boost was originally set up as an incubator for
libraries to be standardised. The end users are in my belief the most
important and biggest stakeholder of all. We need to do a lot better by
them than we have.


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