Boost.Http rejected

Previously I informed that my library was about to be reviewed by the Boost community. And some time ago, this review happened and a result was published.

The outcome of the Boost review process was that my library should not be included in Boost. I think I reacted to the review very well and that I defended the library design with good arguments.

There was valuable feedback that I gained through the review process. Feedback that I can use to improve the library. And improvements to the library shouldn’t stop once the library is accepted into Boost, so I was expecting to spend more time in the library even after the review, as suggested by the presence of a roadmap chapter on the library documentation.

The biggest complaint about the library now was completeness. The library “hasn’t proven” that the API is right. The lack of higher-level building blocks was important to contribute to the lack of trust in current API. Also, if such library was to enter in Boost, it should be complete, so new users would have a satisfying first impression and continue to use the library after the initial contact. I was worried about delivering a megazord library to be reviewed in just one review, but that’s what will happen next time I submit the library to review. At least I introduced several concepts to the readers already.

Things that I planned were forgotten when I created the documentation and I’ll have to improve documentation once again to ensure guarantees that I had planned already. Also, some neat ideas were given to improve library design and further documentation updates will be required. Documentation was also lacking in the area of tutorial. Truth be told, I’m not very skilled in writing tutorials. Hopefully, the higher-level API will help me to introduce the library to newbies. Also, I can include several tutorials in the library to improve its status.

There was an idea about parser/generator (like 3-level instead 2-level indirection) idea that will require me to think even more about the design. Even now, I haven’t thought enough about this design yet. One thing for sure is that I’ll have to expose an HTTP parser because that’s the only thing that matters for some users.

A few other minor complaints were raised that can be addressed easily.

If you are willing to discuss more about the library, I have recently created a gitter channel where discussions can happen.

And for now, I need to re-read all messages given for the review and register associated issues in the project’s issue tracker. I’d like to have something ready by January, but it’ll probably take 6 months to 1 year before I submit the library again. Also, the HTTP client library is something that will possibly delay the library a lot, as I’ll research power users like Firefox and Chromium to make sure that the library is feature-ready for everybody.

So much work that maybe I’ll submit the library as a project on GSoC again next year to gather some more funding.

Also, I’d like to use this space to spread two efforts that I intend to make once the library is accepted into Boost:

  • A Rust “port” of the library. Actually, it won’t be an 1:1 port, as I intend to use Rust’s unique expressiveness to develop a library that feels like a library that was born with Rust in mind.
  • An enhanced, non-slow and not resource-hungry implementation (maybe Rust, maybe C++) of the trsst project.

EDIT (2016/03/20):

And for now, I need to re-read all messages given for the review and register associated issues in the project’s issue tracker.

That part is done: https://github.com/boostgsoc14/boost.http/issues?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=is%3Aissue+label%3Aboost-review+

I’d like to have something ready by January, but it’ll probably take 6 months to 1 year before I submit the library again.

I think I was being too optimistic when I commented “6 months”. It’d only be possible to complete it within 6 months if Boost.Http was the only project I was developing. Of course I have a job and university and the splitted focus wouldn’t allow me to finish the library in just this small amount of time.

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