Among the reasons for a developer to publish a self-written library as open source library, there is definitely fame.

Now when it comes to Boost Libraries, they are available and promoted in a very anonymous and impersonalized form. The name of the author will be readable in the documentation and source files, but be honest:

How many of you could tell me the names of the authors of boost::shared_ptr, ... without looking?

And its not just about the names. Even if you do not know the name of the author of something your using, you still somehow identify it with "the author" and other stuff he did or maybe his website, where you found it.

All these authors' identities are eradicated by the acceptance to Boost. (At this point I really want to thank all boost authors for their selfless and extremely professional efforts.)

I know, they had there reasons, but what about the following case:

Suppose, I had a marvelous and elegant solution to a C++ problem, that had bugged whole generations of programers. The implementation: - standard compliant

  • No use of Macros

  • type-safe

  • requires the user to write the minimum possible boilerplate code with no - I repeat: NO - code repetion

  • zero memory footprint

  • NO runtime overhead

  • fits in a header file of about 100 lines of code.

What should I do with it? Should I bother going the burdensome path of the Boost acceptance process? If yes, what's in there for me?

While this sounds selfish, in the end everything you do should have some positive cost/benefit ratio.

  • 5
    I'll tell you what: Supposing all that sexiness you've described, you should submit it to Boost or something, set up a Paypal donation link on your online resume/profile or wherever you do your self-promotion. I'll give you five bucks through Paypal AND name a pet hamster after you. That's gotta be worth it ("kids, look at user4514 in his wheel"), huh?
    – ccoakley
    Dec 2, 2011 at 18:00
  • Related: Why develop free, open source programs? Dec 2, 2011 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


Well proposing it as a Boost library will for sure make it be recognized as a C++ standard more easily if this library is that good.

As Boost requirements are very hard to meet, it ensures that your library is a really good one if it is accepted. Then as Boost libraries are regularly added to the standard, yours can make it faster than trying to get in there by your own means.

I think that having written a library which is in the C++ standard will be the best reason.

And the authors of the libraries are apparently all here. If you go on specific classes too, like the example you gave for the shared_ptr, you can see at the bottom:

Copyright 1999 Greg Colvin and Beman Dawes. Copyright 2002 Darin Adler. Copyright 2002-2005 Peter Dimov.

So your name will be there and visible.

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