[C++-sig] New Major-Release Boost.Python Development

Jim Bosch talljimbo at gmail.com
Thu Aug 25 22:59:18 CEST 2011

I'd like to start work on a new major release of Boost.Python.  While 
the library is currently well-maintained in terms of bugfixes, I get the 
sense that neither the original developers nor the current maintainer 
have the time or inclination to work on new features.  I'd also like to 
propose some changes that are slightly backwards-incompatible, as well 
as some that mess with the internals to an extent that I'd feel better 
about doing it outside Boost itself, to make it easier for adventurous 
users to play with the new version without affecting people who depend 
on having an extremely stable library in Boost.

To that end, I'm inclined to copy the library to somewhere else 
(possibly the boost sandbox, but more likely a separate site), work on 
it, produce some minor releases, and re-submit it to Boost for review. 
Perhaps the external site would continue on as the home of more 
fine-grained releases, or maybe we would fully reintegrate with Boost at 
that point (especially if Boost addresses some of its own project 
management and release control issues by that point, which I know is 
being discussed but to my knowledge doesn't really have a timeline yet).

I am willing to take the lead on this project; I have a number of 
features that exist as extensions in the boost sandbox already that 
would work better if they could be more fully integrated into the 
Boost.Python core, and I think I have the necessary understanding of the 
full code base to coordinate things.  I'd like to save a full discussion 
of what features a new version would include for another thread, but I 
am hoping other people on the list might volunteer some time to work on 
aspects they have coded up elsewhere - I know many such extensions exist.

So I have a few questions for anyone who's paying attention:

- For the original Boost.Python developers and current maintainers, and 
other people familiar with developing Boost libraries: do you have any 
preference on how to approach this?  I don't want to step on any toes, 
especially toes attached to people who are responsible for the excellent 
library we already have.

- For other Boost.Python experts on this list: do you have existing code 
or development time you'd like to contribute?


Jim Bosch

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