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Subject: Re: [boost] Let's stop distributing binaries
From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2018-08-30 16:06:07

On 8/30/18 8:18 AM, Edward Diener via Boost wrote:

> I am for Robert Ramey's suggestion that if we decide not to distribute
> Boost binaries in any way anymore we need to write a much better
> explanation of how to build Boost as a whole for a particular toolchain
> and a particular standard level and for the various combinations of
> shared/static libraries and for the various choices of what
> shared/static libraries can or cannot be built than what we currently
> have. In fact we need that now in the "Getting Started" page, no matter
> what direction we go, but I know if I press for that I will be accused
> of making more work those people knowledgeable about Boost Build who
> could write a much better explanation than what currently exists, so I
> will not do so. But thank you Tom, if only you have brought to attention
> that it is the end-users of Boost we should be serving and not just
> ourselves.

FWIW - I'm in favor of Boost having a high quality, well thought out
CMake build solution. My concern is that it is very easy to say this,
and almost as easy to demonstrate that this is "easy" by starting such a
project. But in reality, finishing such a project and keeping it
maintained and helping users, etc. is a very big job. Hence my stance
that I want to see CMake developed and supported, but I want to know
that it will actually be "finished" in accordance with the above.

I've been a big complainer about b2 over many years. I always need to
ask for help with it. After 15 years of using it, looking at the
documentation, studying the implementation files etc. I don't feel I
understand it at all. I always need to ask for help. My feeling is that
there are a number of original design decisions which actually make it
impossible to understand - even in principle. (Note - this a common
problem with software - and C++ is on that path).

BUT - the developers and maintainers of Boost Build love they're stuff.
They are serious about helping users make it work for them. They have
done so over at least 15 years through multiple generations of
developers. Maybe it's a cult. Maybe a task like this needs a cult.
But in any case they have highest respect from me. Very few programmers
(or even people) can actually do this. This is why I count myself as a
member of the cult of Boost ... C++ marines, C++ jesuit monks, C++ jihad
(uh oh - maybe too far - back space key broken - sorry)

Robert Ramey

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