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From: Jorg Brown (jorg.brown_at_[hidden])
Date: 2019-09-26 21:58:36

On Tue, Sep 17, 2019 at 10:35 AM Robert Ramey via Boost <
boost_at_[hidden]> wrote:

> On 9/17/19 1:06 AM, John Maddock via Boost wrote:
> > Microsoft's standard library is now in the process of going open source
> > (the code is there, but not the tests yet), see :
> >
> >
> > Interestingly they're using the Math library's special functions en-mass
> > for enhanced <cmath> support, and a quick grep of the code turns up
> > other references to Boost, though I haven't identified the libraries
> > they've borrowed from yet.
> >
> > Hopefully this means that in the long turn we'll see patches and
> > enhancements flowing in both directions for the benefit of all.
> >
> > John.
> Hmmmm - so boost writes something, it gets added to the standard, then
> the vendor, copies in the boost version and releases it as part of
> their product. I've got a couple of questions about this.
> a) Aside from "certifying" or "legitimizing" a boost library, exactly
> how is the C++ committee process actually contributing to all this.
> Looks like just a time consuming way station on a round trip.
> b) I think its time to seriously start to consider ideas about who open
> source authors can get compensated for their efforts are widely used.
> The music business was ignited when improved copyrights enforcement
> complemented technology (phonograph/radio) in the early 20th century.
> The result was an explosion of creativity in musical arts: jazz, musical
> theater, popularization of folk music, film music, etc.
> c) It's just crazy that the author of a pivotal piece of software which
> the whole world runs on (or should run on), gets no monetary recognition
> for these indispensable efforts.
> CppCon - discuss.

Well, first off, I believe that throughout the history of boost, there was
never any promise of monetary recognition. If it wasn't crazy not to be
paid when you contributed code to Boost in the first place, it's not crazy
now, either.

But there are some benefits that go along with that. First and most
important is that you don't have to pay for the part of Boost you didn't
write, which is most of it. And second is that you're not responsible for
supporting it - including fixing the bugs. And third is the combination of
the first two: when you contribute to an open-source project, it often
happens that someone sends you a fix for a bug you didn't know you had.
Depending on what you use your code for, that can be very valuable, even if
you don't put a monetary value on it.

As for how they get compensated, consider Newton. This man invented
Calculus - an indispensable foundation upon which most mathematics - and by
extension most physics - rests. Was he paid for it? No, not per se. But
it made him extremely famous among academics, and that had lots of benefits
on its own. Likewise, authoring a pivotal piece of open-source software
gives you a reputation, which can be exchanged for money in other
ways. People like Hana Dusíková and Louis Dionne can get multiple offers
for high-paying jobs at many companies based on their open-source

It may seem strange - even crazy - that the contributions that made these
people famous don't pay that well, while their in-person contributions do,
but it's actually quite similar to the music industry you cited: The most
lucrative space for musicians is live performances, not recorded ones.

-- Jorg

ps Cite:

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