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Subject: Re: [boost] RFC.. Steering Committee Bylaws Proposal
From: Niall Douglas (s_sourceforge_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-10-19 21:49:25

>> To solve the optics problem with the SC, I have also in the past asked
>> for a formal decision tracking website. Some debate occurred about which
>> project management software to use so decisions being pondered
>> supreme-court-like by the SC could be subscribed to by interested
>> parties. No consensus was arrived at on which software to use, so
>> nothing happened.
> Surely it doesn't need "project management software".

I believe the idea was some sort of issue tracking software, except it
isn't exactly issue tracking. It's more like story or "investigation"

That discussion was a long time ago, but some felt Redmine's project
management would do it, others felt that the software they use for
managing CppCon would do it, others had other opinions again. No
consensus was reached.

> It just needs
> that the section called "Recent resolutions" at
> gets updated to include some mention of the CMake decision.  (That
> is the official page, right?)

That gets updated when Jon gets round to it. And he's been kinda busy
recently, there was this large conference recently ...

But the software discussed was not for resolutions passed, but rather
for issues currently being considered and actively worked upon. I do
remember Jon wanted to be able to assign discussion topics and tasks to
specific people. Right now he does this by looping them into email by
hand, which works, but as with all things, email can get missed and
people can be busy etc.

You've got to remember everything happens on a volunteer basis. Quality
of implementation can be a bit flaky sometimes. It's no one's fault,
it's just we haven't invested in admin and bureaucracy here at Boost.
You get corresponding drops of the ball. Like we're still running a Trac
so old it's not funny how old it is. The fact that hasn't been hacked
yet and all our data destroyed is purely because the hackers can't be

Michael did undertake a very, very long overdue upgrade of the mail
servers last year which cost him *months* of his time free of cost.
Before that we were running a truly ancient MailMan, and again stunning
it didn't get hacked.

Let me repeat once again: if we don't invest as a community in
infrastructure, admin and bureaucracy, you get these outcomes. And it's
not like we can't afford to do so.

> I note also that the SC mailing list archive at
> has no mention of CMake that I can see.  So if this were all handled
> by some sort of project management software where people could subscribe
> to see this discussion, what discussion would they see?  (Again, is that
> the official list?

There is no one discussion place. Some of it happens face to face at a
conference. Some happens when Jon skypes you out of the blue. Some
happens by private email. Some happens on the boost-steering mailing
list. Some happens on Slack.

I absolutely agree that this stuff should be encoded into a formal
process. But once again, *somebody* has to admin formal processes. And
we have no somebody dedicated to doing admin. So it gets done ad hoc,
and not always to the highest quality. Nobody professional is being
employed to solely dedicate their time on making formal processes happen.

I should also mention how hard it is to volunteer people into doing
things free of cost. That's why so many discussion and roping people in
avenues exist. That's why there is no formal process. Cajoling people to
do stuff is hard enough as it is. Formal processes scare volunteers off.

 Why are these things hosted by Google, rather than
> by Boost?)

Google gives free Enterprise cloud services to open source orgs. It's
not widely advertised, but has been the case since the very beginning of
Google. Indeed, until last year, almost all our infrastructure had been
donated to us free of cost, some of it so old and non-upgraded that
everybody had lost the passwords to the servers, so we couldn't change
anything or get our data out. Michael carried that cross and got it
done. It was not easy.


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