Boost Formal Review Process
What to include in Review Comments
Notes for Review Managers
Notes for Library Submitters
Proposed libraries are accepted into Boost only after undergoing a formal
review, where Boost mailing list members comment on their evaluation of the
The final "accept" or "reject" decision is made by the
Review Manager, based on the review comments received from boost mailing list
Boost mailing list members are encouraged to submit Formal Review
- Publicly on the mailing list.
- Privately to the Review Manager.
Private comments to a library submitter may be helpful to her or him, but
won't help the Review Manager reach a decision, so the other forms are
What to include in Review Comments
Your comments may be brief or lengthy, but basically the Review Manager needs your
evaluation of the library. If you identify problems along the way,
please note if they are minor, serious, or showstoppers.
Here are some questions you might want to answer in your review:
- What is your evaluation of the design?
- What is your evaluation of the implementation?
- What is your evaluation of the documentation?
- What is your evaluation of the potential usefulness of the library?
- Did you try to use the library? With what compiler? Did you
have any problems?
- How much effort did you put into your evaluation? A glance? A quick
reading? In-depth study?
- Are you knowledgeable about the problem domain?
And finally, every review should answer this question:
- Do you think the library should be accepted as a Boost
library? Be sure to say this explicitly so that your other comments
don't obscure your overall opinion.
At the conclusion of the comment period, the Review Manager will post a
message to the mailing list saying if the library has been accepted or
rejected. A rationale is also helpful, but its extent is up to the
Review Manager. If there are suggestions, or conditions that must be met before
final inclusion, they should be stated.
Before a library can be scheduled for formal review, an active boost member not
connected with the library submission must volunteer to be the "Review
Manager" for the library.
The Review Manager:
- Checks the submission to make sure it really is complete enough to warrant
formal review. See the Boost Library
Requirements and Guidelines. If necessary, work with the submitter
to verify the code compiles and runs correctly on several compilers and
- Finalizes the schedule with the
Review Wizard and the submitter .
- Posts a notice of the review schedule on both the regular
boost mailing list and the
boost-announce mailing list.
- The notice should include a brief description of the library and what it
does, to let readers know if the library is one they are interested in
- If the library is known to fail with certain compilers, please mention
them in the review notice so reviewers with those compilers won't waste time
diagnosing known problems.
- Inspects the Boost library catalogue for
libraries which may interact with the new submission. These potential
interactions should be pointed out in the review announcement, and the
author(s) of these libraries should be privately notified and urged to
participate in the review.
- Urges people to do reviews if they aren't forthcoming.
- Follows review discussions regarding the library, moderating or answering
questions as needed.
- Decides if
there is consensus to accept the library, and if there are any conditions
- Posts a message on both the boost and
boost-announce lists informing members of the
In other words, it is the Review Manager's responsibility to make sure the
review process works smoothly.
See Submission Process for a description
of the steps a library developer goes through to get a library accepted by
A proposed library should remain stable during the review period; it will just
confuse and irritate reviewers if there are numerous changes. It
is, however, useful to upload fixes for serious bugs right away, particularly
those which prevent reviewers from fully evaluating the library. Post a
notice of such fixes on the mailing list.
Library improvements suggested by reviewers should normally be held until
after the completion of review period. If the suggested
changes might affect reviewer's judgments, post a notice of the pending
change on the mailing list.
The Review Wizard coordinates the formal review schedule:
- Maintains a list of review manager volunteers, in the form of a queue, so
that volunteers who least recently managed reviews become the prime candidates
for upcoming reviews.
- When a formal review is requested for a library:
- Assign a review manager and suggests a schedule, after checking (via
private email) availability of the volunteers at the top of review manager
- Finalize the schedule, once the review manager verifies the library is
actually ready for review.
- Resolve schedule slips or other issues with review managers and
- Maintains a schedule of both past and pending reviews, in the form of the
Review Schedule web page.
- Resolves questions from review managers and library submitters, who
sometimes want a third opinion on questions such as "Should we extend the
review period because ...?"
- Monitors the general review process, and makes minor adjustments as
needed, or queries the list about possible major adjustments.
20 August, 2002