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Subject: Re: [boost] CMake Announcement from Boost Steering Committee
From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-07-21 21:39:46

On 7/21/17 1:50 PM, Niall Douglas via Boost wrote:
> 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.

Right - but that stakeholder does 99% of the actual work.

> Boost library developers are a quarter to a third of that
> stakeholdership

where does one get such numbers? We don't any statistics on library
usage. This goes not only for boost but for libraries std, CGal, etc.
Sure we might have downloads (even that is suspect), but I'd be wary of
citing such numbers - much less drawing conclusions from them.

> - 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,

right - but they don't do any actual work.

> 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

LOL - I don't see how anyone can know that.
> 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

LOL that is true by definition

> 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.

I don't think these players have a big stake in he build system.
> And call me old fashioned, but Boost can't exist without users using it
> either.

Again trivially true.

> 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.

Right - and we have absolutly no numbers or data on library usage -
boost or otherwise

> 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.

Hmmm - My sense is that we've been doing better than everyone else out
there. But again, it's just my sense given the incorporation of so many
boost libaries into the standard. I (and no one else) really knows
about this.

I'm guessing that one reason the discussion is so contentious is the
actual lack of factual information involved in it.

Robert Ramey

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