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Subject: Re: [Boost-users] Maintenace Guidelines wiki page
From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2008-11-22 15:19:26

This is a laudable effort, but my guess is that it's doomed to failure.

My own take on this was posted in

So far, no one else has endorsed such a pledge. Indeed, the responses
suggested that
the breaking interfaces was a normal, acceptable and unavoidable practice.

I think that differing points of view reflect different backgrounds of
developers. In my particular case, I work on relatively short term projects
under huge pressure to produce results. I absolutely depend upon boost
and other libraries (e.g. MFC) to get the job done. If a library changes,
I have to go back and re-visit something that was already considered
The creates a big problem for me.

In other environments, programmers work on huge projects which might
go on for years. In this constext, this is not such a huge problem as
are constantly evolving anyway. So continuing to break things and
having to fix them is a normal and in any event unavoidable.

Your "Maintainence Guidlines" presume a consensus
about what should be acceptable practice where no
such consensus actually exists.

As a practical matter what do I do.

I need a facility. My experience would suggest that such
a facility might be already existing in some sort of library.
According to the situation, I will review a couple of candidates
and select one to try. It might be a commercial product or
it might be something like boost. Then I'll try to introduce
the library to my code. This has to be pretty easy or I'll discard it.
It needs to have good documentation and it needs to "just work"
I then copy the library in to my project. I try to avoid making
a big commitment to a library - or anyone else's code so
that I can drop one library if I have to in the future.

With the serialization library, it has to include the latest
boost libraries that it uses. If I find that the library
author can't maintain a stable and relieable product,
I design that library out of the serialization library. This
has happened several times. Given the fact that
the serialization library is not my full time job
(though at times it seems that way), I don't feel
there is any real alternative.

Robert Ramey

vicente.botet wrote:
> Hi,
> I have started the Maintenace Guidelines wiki page.
> You can access it directly
> or via
> Guidelines
> * Maintenance Guidelines
> There page need to be completed and surely reworked but this is an
> starting point.
> Please be free to improve the page directly or post your comments or
> suggestions to this list.
> Hopping this goes on the right direction,
> Vicente

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