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Subject: Re: [boost] CMake Announcement from Boost Steering Committee
From: Robert (r.firl_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-07-26 19:33:18

On 7/19/2017 11:08 AM, Klemens Morgenstern via Boost wrote:
> Am 18.07.2017 um 15:12 schrieb Jon Kalb via Boost:
>> The libraries produced by the Boost community have had a greater
>> impact on the way that the C++ community writes code than any other
>> library implementation. The focus of the Boost community will always
>> be on the libraries, but it is undeniable that we are dependent on and
>> often limited by the infrastructure of our trade. Years ago, the move
>> to Git was contentious; yet, it was required to improve development.
>> In a similar vein our build system has become an impediment for many
>> developers and users, existing and prospective.
>> Therefore, we, the Steering Committee, announce to the Boost community
>> our desire and intent to move Boost’s build system to CMake for users
>> and developers alike. We are soliciting comments and proposals from
>> the community to guide the process and the goals. Our desire is that
>> the community can come to consensus by the end of the calendar year
>> with a vision of supporting users and developers.
>> We understand that the actual process of achieving the end goal will
>> be long, time consuming, and not without its share of conflict. We
>> also recognize that the Boost community is comprised of bright and
>> passionate individuals that are eager to get involved and help get
>> work done.
>> The members of the Steering Committee have been encouraged by the
>> discussions and activity surrounding CMake on the mailing lists over
>> the years and know that many people have voiced visions. We hope that
>> each of you rejoins the discussion to support this initiative and
>> contributes to the common goal of improving Boost’s integration into
>> the broader C++ ecosystem.
> Preface: I'm on team
> We had long discussions about the whole CMake vs thing and I
> will not reiterate those. I do think that is superior, but I
> might be wrong about that.
> I am however quite certain that the style of just announcing that this
> will happen is low. First of all, the discussion were not a stalemate,
> but rather open. Last year, there was an effort put in to explore the
> possibilities of v3; in the same way it would just be work
> to setup a cmake build for boost. As a matter of fact Paul Fultz II is
> working on that (
> So this discussion was far from over and the proof that CMake would be
> superiour is lacking. So announcing the intention now by the steering
> comittee (instead of announcing the intention to build an example with
> Cmake) is premature; we have not only years of experience with
> but also the people who developed it. Well had, anyway.
> So prematurely declaring that boost will be going CMake without any
> technical proof is just bad. And given the amount of CMake proponents we
> have on this list: why isn't there a full boost CMake script yet? Why
> was there more effort put into maintaining than CMake? Seems
> to me, that the work put in should be of more importance, than the
> preferences stated on the mailing lists.
> Secondly there has never been a discussion whether another build system
> (or a fork thereof) might be better that CMake and (e.g.
> blaze, qbs, meson, scons). So how can the intention be to use CMake?
> Thirdly, the "it's like moving to git" is just an awful comparison.
> was specifically build for boost and the superiority of git
> was way more clear than for CMake. For one: git can handle svn
> repositories. If CMake can build Jam-Files I'll be the first one to
> support it.
> Fourthly I don't think the comittee does understand how much work this
> will be for the maintainers of certain libraries, such as boost.python.
> For header only libraries with trivial tests, I don't think it'll be
> much work, but I don't see the steering comittee or those crying for
> CMake doing the implementation for the more compilicated libraries. This
> decision will put constraints on many maintainers and some of them will
> see this as an artificial requirement. Now we can handle that if we get
> paid; but for projects we do for free, some of us will consider that too
> frustrating and jump ship. And since the first response was Rene, I
> think this could really hurt boost.
> Considering that your job is to do what's best for boost, you might want
> to reevaluate the way you operate. Losing Rene is surely not what is
> best for boost.
> The right way to do it, would've have been to setup a task force to
> evaluate the use of CMake. Announcing like that makes me wonder how
> profound the reasons for your decision actually are.
I agree with all your points. Thank you very much. I have professional
concerns on how the SC is operating. I am confident many others do too.
  Here is an executive summary:

Boost library use is recently incorporated here at my employer. I have
been successfully building every Boost release since 1.55 for both Intel
and Visual Studio on Windows. The Cmake announcement method affects how
and whether my employer will continue to use Boost libraries. Has the
SC given any thought of how an extreme announcement, lacking technical
factual consensus, affects every single user, developer, software
engineer, software architect, principal software engineer, project
manager, technical lead, software engineering manager, product managers,
etc.? The Boost library list itself is proof that thorough design and
architecture discussions occur on everything prior to inclusion. Then,
if it is approved by the C++ Standards Committee, a library could become
part of the official standard! The Cmake announcement is totally
contrary to the established review process, as well as the page that
summarizes all of the labor hours and source code lines that constitute
Boost. For reference, see this URL by Rene Rivera:

Thank you for your time,

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