Boost Library Submission Process

Legacy content, currently being updated.

This page describes the process a library developer goes through to get a library accepted by Boost.

See the [Boost Library Requirements and Guidelines](requirements.html) page for issues of content.

Steps for getting a library accepted by Boost:

  • [1. Learn about Boost](#Learn)

  • [2. Determine interest](#interest)

  • [3. Start Development](#Development)

  • [4. Refinement](#Refinement)

  • [5. Getting seconded for review](#Seconded)

  • [6. Seek a Review Manager](#Seeking)

  • [7. Formal Review](#Review)

  • [8. Web site posting](#SitePosting)

  • [9. People page](#People)

  • [10. Lifecycle](#Lifecycle)

Learn about Boost

Follow posts on the [main developers mailing list](/community/groups.html#main) for a while, or look through the [archives](/community/groups.html#archive). Explore the [web site](/). Learn the [Requirements](requirements.html). Read the rest of this page to learn about the process. Search the web to get an idea of the commitment required to get a library into Boost.

There is a culture associated with Boost, aimed at encouraging high quality libraries by a process of discussion and refinement. Some libraries get past community review in less than two years from first concept, but most take longer, sometimes a lot longer. Five to ten years to get a library past review and into Boost is not unheard of, and you should prepare yourself for the personal investment required.

Determine interest

While participation in reviews for other submissions is not a prerequisite for submitting a library to Boost, it is highly recommended; it will acquaint you with the process and the emotional demands of a formal review. There’s nothing that quite deflates the ego like having brilliant members of the C++ community critiquing your work, but, alas, it’s worth it!

Potential library submitters should be careful to research the prior art before beginning to design a new library. Unfortunately, now and then folks arrive at Boost with a new library into which they have invested many hours, only to find that Boost already has that functionality, and sometimes has had it for years. Candidates should also research libraries being developed by others intended for Boost - if you have an itch to scratch, often so have had others and collaboration developing their library is usually considerably more efficient than going at it alone.

Potential library submitters should also be careful to publicise, canvas for, and gauge interest in their library, ideally before beginning it, but certainly before submitting it for review. Even a superbly designed library can fail review if there isn’t enough interest in the subject matter; We can only review libraries with enough appeal to form a viable peer review. Ensuring that enough people are interested in your potential library goes a long way to ensure that.

There are many places to publicise and canvas for a library. The Boost developers [mailing list](/community/groups.html) ought to be your first stop in gauging interest in a possible new C++ library. Be prepared to pivot your design and focus until your proposed library finds traction. Other places useful for gauging interest in a library might be [Reddit/r/cpp](

A message to the Boost developers mailing list might be as simple as "Is there any interest in a library which solves Travelling Salesperson problems in linear time?"

A bit of further description or snippet of code may be helpful. By the way, the preferred format for messages on the mailing list is plain text; not rich text, HTML, etc.

Avoid posting lengthy descriptions, documentation, or code to the mailing list, and, please, no attachments. The best place to provide lengthy material is via. a web link. Project hosting services such as sourceforge, github, google code, and bitbucket serve well for this purpose.

Start Development

If response to an initial query indicates interest, then by all means make your library publicly available if you haven’t already done so.

Please commit your code to a version control system such as Git, and make your documentation available in HTML format on a public website such as Github. An issue tracker such as the one provided by Github is also highly recommended.

Your library should contain material as if it were on the web site. The closer your library reflects the final directory structure and format of the web site, the better. This makes it possible for reviewers to simply copy your code into the Boost distribution for testing.

Please verify that your library compiles and runs under at least two compilers. This flushes out obvious portability problems.

It is recommended that you release your code under the Boost Software License; see the [Requirements](requirements.html) page for more information.


Discuss, refine, rewrite. Repeat until satisfied.

The exact details of this process varies a lot. Usually it is public, on the mailing list, but frequently discussion happens in private emails. For some libraries the process is over quickly, but for others it goes on for months. It’s often challenging, and sometimes veers into completely unexpected directions.

The [archive](/community/groups.html#archive) of past messages is one way to see how this process worked for other Boost libraries.

To get an idea of best practices with some samples of script and code in existing Boost libraries, see the [Best Practices Handbook]( on the Boost wiki.

Getting seconded for review

When you feel that your library is ready for entry into Boost, you need to find at least one member (but preferably several) of the Boost community who is willing to publicly endorse your library for entry into Boost. A simple method of achieving this is to post to [the Boost developers mailing list](/community/groups.html) a short description of your library, links to its github and documentation, and a request for endorsements.

It is expected that those who endorse a library for review will have performed at least a cursory check of the library’s suitability for Boost in terms of documentation, fit with the rest of Boost and usefulness. A public endorsement of a library for review means that from an initial glance, they believe that the library has a reasonable chance to be accepted during a formal review. The expectation is that these endorsers will themselves review of the library during formal review period, though this is not binding.

Once you have a list of people who have publicly endorsed your library for review, email [the Review Wizards](/community/reviews.html#Wizard) to request that your library be added to [the review queue](/community/review_schedule.html) where the following information will be shown:

  • Submission

  • Submitter

  • Links to Source (GitHub), Documentation (HTML website) and any Incubator entry

  • Names of members who endorse this submission for review

  • Review Manager

  • Review Dates

Seek a Review Manager

In order to schedule a formal review, the author must find a capable volunteer to manage the review. This should be someone with knowledge of the library domain, and experience with the review process. See [Formal Review Process](/community/reviews.html) for the responsibilities of the review manager.

Authors can find community members interested in managing reviews through discussion of the library on the developer list. If no one steps forward to volunteer to manage the review, it is appropriate to contact an experienced Boost member who showed interest in the library. Be considerate that managing a review is a serious commitment; for this reason, it’s better to contact the member off-list.

If you cannot find a review manager after 3 weeks using the means above, and your submission is targeting eventual standardization, there is a list of Boost regulars who are also WG21 committee members who have volunteered to act as review managers in such cases. Please try them in the order listed. They are: Zach Laine, Micheal Caisse, Matt Calabrese, Edward Diener, Louis Dionne, Vinnie Falco, Glen Fernandes, and David Sankel.

Once a potential review manager has been identified, [contact the review wizards](/community/reviews.html#Wizard) for approval. The wizards approve review managers based on their level of participation in the Boost community.

The review wizards will coordinate with both the author and review manager to schedule a date convenient for both.

See [Formal Review Process](/community/reviews.html) for details.

Formal Review

Before your formal review begins, double-, triple-, and quadruple-check your library. Verify that every code example works, that all unit tests pass on at least two compilers on at least two major operating systems, and run your documentation through a spelling and grammar checker.

Please do not modify your library on its master branch during a review. Instead, modify a separate develop branch in response to feedback and reviews. For bigger ticket items of work, open issues on your issue tracker so interested people can track the fixing of specific issues raised.

The review manager will consider all the reviews made by members of the community and arrive at a decision on whether your library is rejected, conditionally accepted or unconditionally accepted. They will post a report summarising the decision publicly. If conditions are attached to acceptance, you will need to implement those conditions or else undergo an additional formal review.

Boost web site posting

Once an accepted library is ready for inclusion on the Boost web site, the submitter is typically given Boost repository write access, and expected to check-in and maintain the library there. Contact the moderators if you need write access or direct use of the repository isn’t possible for you.

People page

If the web site doesn’t already have your capsule biography and picture (optional, with not-too-serious pictures preferred!), please send them to the Boost webmaster. It is up to you as to whether or not the biography includes your email address or other contact information. The preferred picture format is .jpg, but other common formats are acceptable. The preferred image size is 500x375 but the webmaster has photo editing software and can do the image preparation if necessary.


Libraries are software; they lose their value over time if not maintained. Postings on the Boost developers or users mailing lists can alert you to potential maintenance needs; please plan to maintain your library over time. If you no longer can or wish to maintain your library, please post a message on the Boost developers mailing list asking for a new maintainer to volunteer and then spend the time to help them take over.

Orphaned libraries will be put in the care of the [Community Maintenance Team](