[Review] Fixed strings library

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[Review] Fixed strings library

Hartmut Kaiser

Hi all,

the formal review period of the Fixed strings library written by Reece Dunn
ends today.

Since there was complete consent with regard to this library among all
submitted reviews, it is straight forward for me to make the final decision.
The library is rejected and will not be included into Boost at this point in
time.

The main points listed during review were:
- Do we need a fixed_string library at all, is it worth the overhead?
- Insufficient/confusing documentation
  . insufficient description of general design, design rationales and
motivations
  . it says more about implementation details rather then the public
interface
  . missing or insufficient documentation of parts of the library
- The overall architecture of the implementation is too complicated and
needs to be reworked
- Missing interface for construction/interaction with std::string's
- Unclear benefit to have the strings truncated to avoid overflows
- Missing performance comparison with std::string and other alternatives
- Compilation problems with the library as submitted for review

Reece already expressed his interest to resubmit the library for review
again, after he has been able to address the mention issues.

I'ld like to thank Reece for submitting this library and all reviewers for
their time they invested in preparing the reviews.

Regards Hartmut
Review Manager

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Re: [Review] Fixed strings library

Andy Little

"Hartmut Kaiser"  wrote

[...]

> The main points listed during review were:
> - Do we need a fixed_string library at all, is it worth the overhead?
> - Insufficient/confusing documentation
>  . insufficient description of general design, design rationales and
> motivations
>  . it says more about implementation details rather then the public
> interface
>  . missing or insufficient documentation of parts of the library
> - The overall architecture of the implementation is too complicated and
> needs to be reworked
> - Missing interface for construction/interaction with std::string's
> - Unclear benefit to have the strings truncated to avoid overflows
> - Missing performance comparison with std::string and other alternatives
> - Compilation problems with the library as submitted for review

I'm wondering if this doesnt bring up a point regarding this review. In
hindsight was fixed_strings ready for review?

http://www.boost.org/more/formal_review_process.htm#Review_Manager

In hindsight ,which is a wonderful thing, shouldnt review manager have stopped
fixed_strings review? Can review  manger stop a review?

I say this not to criticise Hartmut( I hope that experience as review manager
will mean he will be interested to do the job again), but to enhance the
character of the review managers role and point up this case as one example of
what pitfalls  review manager should look out for when thinking about future
review requests.

Also to Reece. Do you think in hindsight ficed-strings is review ready?

I'd like to clarify this  as I hope to submit a library of my own some day. It
brings up the question of when is a library in a fit state

regards
Andy Little









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Re: [Review] Fixed strings library

Hartmut Kaiser
 
Andy Little wrote:

> > The main points listed during review were:
> > - Do we need a fixed_string library at all, is it worth the
> overhead?
> > - Insufficient/confusing documentation  . insufficient
> description of
> > general design, design rationales and motivations  . it says more
> > about implementation details rather then the public interface  .
> > missing or insufficient documentation of parts of the library
> > - The overall architecture of the implementation is too complicated
> > and needs to be reworked
> > - Missing interface for construction/interaction with std::string's
> > - Unclear benefit to have the strings truncated to avoid overflows
> > - Missing performance comparison with std::string and other
> > alternatives
> > - Compilation problems with the library as submitted for review
>
> I'm wondering if this doesnt bring up a point regarding this
> review. In hindsight was fixed_strings ready for review?
>
> http://www.boost.org/more/formal_review_process.htm#Review_Manager
>
> In hindsight ,which is a wonderful thing, shouldnt review
> manager have stopped fixed_strings review? Can review  manger
> stop a review?
>
> I say this not to criticise Hartmut( I hope that experience
> as review manager will mean he will be interested to do the
> job again), but to enhance the character of the review
> managers role and point up this case as one example of what
> pitfalls  review manager should look out for when thinking
> about future review requests.

Frankly, I was thinking about not to start the review for this library. And
from todays point of view I shouldn't have done so. It's a learning curve
for me as well and I certainly will be more proactive in this direction in
the future.

In the end I decided to start the review regardless of the problems because
I thought (and I still think) it's worth to have discussions about the kind
of paradigm the Fixed Strings library represents and even if we had these
concrete problems we also have had some very interesting and clearifying
discussions on this topic.

Regards Hartmut



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Re: [Review] Fixed strings library

Reece Dunn
Hartmut Kaiser wrote:

>Andy Little wrote:
>
> > I'm wondering if this doesnt bring up a point regarding this
> > review. In hindsight was fixed_strings ready for review?
> >
> > http://www.boost.org/more/formal_review_process.htm#Review_Manager
> >
> > In hindsight ,which is a wonderful thing, shouldnt review
> > manager have stopped fixed_strings review? Can review  manger
> > stop a review?
> >
> > I say this not to criticise Hartmut( I hope that experience
> > as review manager will mean he will be interested to do the
> > job again), but to enhance the character of the review
> > managers role and point up this case as one example of what
> > pitfalls  review manager should look out for when thinking
> > about future review requests.
>
>Frankly, I was thinking about not to start the review for this library. And
>from todays point of view I shouldn't have done so. It's a learning curve
>for me as well and I certainly will be more proactive in this direction in
>the future.
>
>In the end I decided to start the review regardless of the problems because
>I thought (and I still think) it's worth to have discussions about the kind
>of paradigm the Fixed Strings library represents and even if we had these
>concrete problems we also have had some very interesting and clearifying
>discussions on this topic.

When developing the library and discussing it on the list, I got some
feedback,  but that was different to the comments I got here. Because of
this review, I have a list of areas in the design and documentation that
need to be reworked in order to get it to review quality.

This is a learning curve for me that will help me write better code and a
better library in the future.

I know that the library has been rejected for now, but there has been some
discussion whether the library is actually needed as Dave pointed out. As
Andy Little notes, there *is* interest in the library, so there appears to
be a need for it.

See you for round two :)
- Reece


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Re: [Review] Fixed strings library

David Abrahams
In reply to this post by Hartmut Kaiser
"Hartmut Kaiser" <[hidden email]> writes:

> In the end I decided to start the review regardless of the problems
> because I thought (and I still think) it's worth to have discussions
> about the kind of paradigm the Fixed Strings library represents and
> even if we had these concrete problems we also have had some very
> interesting and clearifying discussions on this topic.

Agreed.  But such discussions need not occupy a review slot, which
could be used for more polished submissions.

--
Dave Abrahams
Boost Consulting
www.boost-consulting.com

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Re: [Review] Fixed strings library

David Abrahams
In reply to this post by Reece Dunn
"Reece Dunn" <[hidden email]> writes:

> I know that the library has been rejected for now, but there has
> been some discussion whether the library is actually needed as Dave
> pointed out. As Andy Little notes, there *is* interest in the
> library, so there appears to be a need for it.

Interest does not necessarily indicate a need.

--
Dave Abrahams
Boost Consulting
www.boost-consulting.com

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