[Numpy-discussion] A Foundation for the support of NumPy and SciPy

Travis Oliphant teoliphant@gmail....
Tue Oct 4 23:51:35 CDT 2011


This is a great suggestion.     Thank you!

It is definitely worth careful consideration. 

-Travis



On Oct 4, 2011, at 6:36 PM, Nathaniel Smith wrote:

> [Does the group actually exist yet? Google says: "No groups match
> fastecuhla." Replying here instead...]
> 
> I've been following discussions around non-profit incorporation for
> FOSS projects for about a decade (including some years on the internal
> mailing list for SPI Inc. -- Debian's non-profit foundation). My
> strong recommendation is that we not do it ourselves. Setting up our
> own non-profit takes an immense amount of energy, and keeping it going
> requires continuing to jump through annoying hoops on a regular basis
> (you must have a procedure for selecting a board; the board must meet
> on some regular schedule, achieve quorum, and regularly elect
> officers; each board meeting must have minutes produced and approved,
> you must file taxes on time, ...), and it's expensive to boot (you'll
> need a professional accountant, etc.). As a result, most projects that
> try going it on their own end up with a horrible mess sooner or later.
> It works okay if you're, say, Gnome, but most projects are not Gnome.
> 
> But fortunately, this is a solved problem: there are several
> non-profit umbrella corporations that are set up to let experts take
> care of this nonsense and amortize the costs over multiple projects.
> The Software Freedom Conservancy is probably the most well put
> together:
>   http://www.sfconservancy.org/overview/
>   http://www.sfconservancy.org/members/services/
>   http://sfconservancy.org/about/board/
> Many large projects with complicated legal situations like Samba,
> Busybox, jQuery, Wine, Boost, ... have also chosen this approach:
>   http://www.sfconservancy.org/members/current/
> 
> TL;DR: When it comes to legal matters: starting your own non-profit is
> to joining an existing umbrella non-profit as CVS is to git. (And in
> fact git is also a SF Conservancy member.)
> 
> My $0.02,
> -- Nathaniel
> 
> On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 1:58 PM, Travis Oliphant <teoliphant@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> 
>> At the recent US SciPy conference and at other times in the past I have been approached about the possibility of creating a foundation to support the development of SciPy and NumPy.
>> 
>> I know there are varying opinions about that, but I am generally very supportive of the idea and would like to encourage it as much as I can.   It would be interesting to have a public discussion of the issues, but these discussions should not clog the main list of either NumPy or SciPy.
>> 
>> As a result, there has been set up a public mailing list for discussion of the creation of a Foundation for the Advancement of Scientific, Technical, and Engineering Computing Using High Level Abstractions (FASTECUHLA).     The list is fastecuhla@googlegroups.com
>> 
>> This is a place-holder name that can be replaced if somebody comes up with a better one.     Please sign up for that list if you would like to contribute to the discussion.
>> 
>> The items to discuss include:
>>        * where to organize
>>        * what the purposes should be
>>        * who should be members
>>        * where should money come from
>>        * what other organizations exist that we could either piggy-back on or emulate
>>        * what are the pitfalls on starting a foundation to support NumPy and SciPy versus other approaches
>>        * who has time to participate in its organization and maintenance
>> 
>> One important feature is that I see this foundation as a service opportunity and obligation and not as a "feather-in-the-cap" or something to join lightly.   I'm hopeful that it can be a place where people and organizations can donate money and know that it will be going directly to further the core packages for Scientific Computing with Python.
>> 
>> Thank you,
>> 
>> -Travis
>> 
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>> 
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---
Travis Oliphant
Enthought, Inc.
oliphant@enthought.com
1-512-536-1057
http://www.enthought.com





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