Standardization is long periods of mind-numbing boredom interrupted by moments of sheer terror – Bjarne Stroustrup
In his ACCU2013 talk, “C++14 Early Thoughts“, Bjarne Stroustrup presented this slide:
By using “we” in each bullet point, Bjarne was referring to the ISO WG-1 C++ committee and the daunting challenges it faces to successfully move the language forward.
Not only do the committee leaders have to manage the external onslaught of demands from a huge, dedicated user base, they have to homogenize the internal communications amongst many smart and assertive members. To illustrate the internal management problem, Bjarne said something akin to: “There is no topic the committee isn’t willing to discuss at length for two years“.
In order to prevent being overwhelmed with work, the committee uses this set of grass roots principles to filter out the incoming chaff from the wheat:
I have no idea how internal conflicts are handled, nor how infinite loops of technical debate are exited, but since the all-volunteer committee is still functioning and doing a great job (IMO) of modernizing the language, there’s got to be some magic at work here: