The goal of this web site is to help C++ programmers produce C++ code libraries as good as those libraries accepted into Boost

Most of the information contained here is my personal view which has been shaped by my experience as developer of the Boost Serialization Library.


In no way should any information found on these pages be construed as reflecting any "official" policy or recommendation of Boost.

Observations and Premises

  • The Boost review is the essence of boost.

  • There aren't really enough reviews for many packages.

  • Many libraries really aren't ready for review.

  • When the review comes up, there's a two week period and everyone who wants to participate has to adjust to this period. I'm sure lots of people don't participate because of scheduling issues.

  • Writing a library is very difficult and an immense amount of work. This diminishes the number of libraries submitted.

Boost has largely fulfilled it's original mission of supplying necessary components to the C++ standard libary. But there is much more to be done! In order to continue to succeed, C++ needs more and better libraries. This web site is intended promote them!

Work Flow

Library authors prepare their submissions in accordance with the guidelines set by this web site and upload their submission. The submission is subjected to a pre-review to verify that it meets minimum standards for consideration to be part of Boost. These standards include:

  • Directory structure

  • Documentation and completeness

  • Testing

  • Portability

  • Licensing

  • Availability

Note that this pre-review doesn't address subjective aspects such as the quality of the submission, usefulness, etc. It only addresses those things that can be verified by following a checklist. The submission is made available for download and a project page is opened for this submission. This project page will be used to keep a record of information regarding the submission as it becomes available. This information will include:

  • Reports of bugs

  • Requests for features

  • Reviews

  • User ratings

  • Download statistics

  • Testing results

  • Observations on design and implementation

  • Any other useful and relevant information

  • User ratings

Library users are encouraged to participate the process by installing, testing, commenting on and reviewing libaries which interest them. Others are encouraged promote library development by sponsoring libraries which they find useful.

Desired Outcome

Improved review process

  • More people will have downloaded and tested the submission and will have provided feedback and reviews on the library's "issues" page.

  • For some libraries, "issues" history will make it obvious that the library would not pass the formal review process. The whole review process can be skipped in this case.

  • For some libraries, the "issues" history will make it clear that acceptance is a "no-brainer". The review process will be much simpler in this case.

  • Everyone who has an interest will be able to contribute to the review process even if they can't commit to a specific time/date window.

  • The review manager will have a wealth of information available that he doesn't have now. This will make the process much easier than it is now.

Easier library development

  • Authors can get feedback before the submission is reviewed while there is still an opportunity to make adjustments.

  • Libraries can start small and have features added incrementally until they are ready for review.

  • A library feature set can be developed in accordance with experience of real users. This should make the library more likely to get a better review and diminish the amount of effort expended on features for which there is little demand.

  • User feedback may motivate authors to spend more effort finishing the library.

  • Test results from a variety of platforms will be available to help authors make their library portable.

More support for library authors

Interested parties will be ecouraged to provide financial and logistical support to authors of libraries which they find useful to their organizational goals. This will permit more people to participate in library development and hopefully result in a higher number of quality library submissions.

There are 10 comments and replies

Comment on This Page

  • Christophe Henry says:

    I can't add any review, even if logged in. Is it working?

  • mzimbres says:

    Hi, are there specific guidelines for people that do not want to submit a whole library but add functionality to a specific one? For example, I would like to submit an allocator to Boost.Container.


    • Robert Ramey says:

      I think the best way to do this is to:

      • go to the repository for the library.
      • clone you’re own private copy.
      • make all the changes you want
        • don’t forget to update documentation and tests!!!!!
        • A library author – like everyone else – is unenthusiastic about doing extra work to raise someone else’s baby.
        • You have to provide proof that’s it’s not going to be extra work for him.
        • He’s much more likely to accept it if all he has to do is pull in your changes in to his development branch, run the tests and verify the documentation.
        • If he doesn’t like your enhancement, he will easily be able back it out. The whole process should take him only a few minutes.
      • send a github “pull” request to the library maintainer.
      • bug the library maintainer on a regular basis to get him to either incorporate the request or explain why he doesn’t want to do it. Don’t forget this step. It’s not really all that fun, but in practice it’s necessary if you want your work to be appreciated.

      The above procedure will work best for you, the library maintainer and Boost. It’s built in to the github system and has worked well in many cases. Good luck with your enhancement and thanks for contributing.

  • Vicente J. Botet Escriba says:

    Is there a way to add issues to the BoostLibraryIncubator as a whole, not page by page?
    If not maybe it is worth adding a page for general remarks.

  • Vicente J. Botet Escriba says:

    Libraries > Listed by Category doesn’t show anything 🙁

  • Vicente J. Botet Escriba says:

    I can not add comments on Libraries > Listed Alphabetically.

    • dvicino says:

      Same as Vicente, I can not add comments on Libraries > Listed Alphabetically.
      BTW, is it possible to make the libraries url friendlier?
      For example proposed "compute" library link is:
      Would it be possible to have something like : or ?

      • Robert Ramey says:

        I didn't think it was a great idea to add comments to this "index" page.

        I've had trouble with wordpress "permalinks". From time to time I've tried to fix this, but so far no success. I haven't given up though.