Helping to find the usefulness of a proposal

Neal Gafter neal at
Wed Apr 15 17:33:55 PDT 2009

On Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 3:54 PM, <paul.martin at> wrote:
> Some of this discussion is frustrating. I think that to say that "the list
> received few serious actual proposals" is unfair, at least in terms of the
> enthusiasm of the discussions, and in terms of the criticism of the
> proposals themselves.


Specificity is needed to determine if a proposal is simple enough for
project Coin.  I didn't bother commenting on proposals that had only a
hint of a specification.  An RFE - requesting that a problem be solved
(even if it suggests a direction for the solution) - is far from a
proposal for a specific solution.  Evaluating an RFE to the needed
level of detail would require we not just comment on the problem
space, but evaluate the entire solution space and comment on the best
of the solutions we can imagine.  The proposer was supposed to do
that, and describe precisely one selected solution.  I know that is a
lot of work and may require specialized skills.  That is why the
readers of a proposal cannot be expected to do it.

I didn't bother commenting on some proposals because I just didn't see
much benefit compared to the effort.

As much fun as it is to discuss language design, this list is not
really the best place for that design to take place.  If a lot of
discussion is needed to move a proposal forward now, that is a sign
that the proposal is complex, or imprecise, or immature and likely to
require extensive discussion and refinement in the expert group.  Any
of these suggests that the proposal would probably require more effort
than is appropriate for project Coin.


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