[Numpy-discussion] What is consensus anyway

josef.pktd@gmai... josef.pktd@gmai...
Wed Apr 25 00:02:10 CDT 2012


On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 12:25 AM, Travis Oliphant <travis@continuum.io> wrote:
>
> On Apr 24, 2012, at 10:50 PM, Charles R Harris wrote:
>
>
>
> On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 9:28 PM, Fernando Perez <fperez.net@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>>
>> On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 8:02 PM, Charles R Harris
>> <charlesr.harris@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Fernando, I'm not checking credentials, I'm curious.
>>
>> Well, at least I think that an inquisitive query about someone's
>> background, phrased like that, can be very easily misread.  I can only
>> speak for myself, but I immediately had the impression that you were
>> indeed trying to validate his background as a proxy for the
>> discussion, and suggesting that others had the same curiosity...
>>
>> Had the question been something more like "Hey Nathaniel, what other
>> projects do you think could inform our current view, maybe from stuff
>> you've done in the past or lists you've lurked on?", I would have a
>> very different reaction.  But this sentence:
>>
>> """
>> I admit to a certain curiosity about your own involvement in FOSS
>> projects, and I know I'm not alone in this.
>> """
>>
>> definitely reads to me with a rather dark and unpleasant angle. Upon
>> rereading it again now, I still don't like the tone.  I trust you when
>> you indicate that your intent was different; perhaps it's a matter of
>> phrasing, or the fact that English is not my native language and I may
>> miss subtleties of native speakers.
>>
>
> Perhaps it was a bit colored, but even so, I'd like to know some specifics
> of his experience. Monotone was one of the projects that sprang up after
> Linus started using Bitkeeper as an open alternative, but that is actually
> fairly recent (2003 or so) and much of the discussion seems to have been
> carried on over IRC, rather than a mailing list. I'm guessing that some
> other projects could have taken place in the 90's, but things have changed
> so much since then that it is hard to know what was going on in that decade.
> There was certainly work on the C++ Template library, Linux, Python, and
> various utilities. But it is hard to know. In any case, I'd guess that
> Monotone was a fairly tight knit community, and about 2007 most of the
> developers left. I'd guess it was mostly a case of git and mercurial
> becoming dominant, and possibly they also lost interest in DVCS and moved on
> to other things.
>
> Numpy itself has gone through several of those transitions, and looking
> back, I think one of the problems was that when Travis left for Enthought he
> didn't officially hand off maintenance. The whole transition was a bit
> lucky, with David, Pauli, and myself unofficially continuing the work for
> the 1.3 and 1.4 releases. At that point I was hoping David could more or
> less take over, but he graduated, and Pauli would have been an excellent
> choice, but he took up his graduate studies. Turnover is a problem with open
> source, and no matter how much discussion there is, if people aren't doing
> the work the whole thing sort of peters out.
>
>
> Thanks for explaining yourself.    The tone you used could earlier have been
> mis-interpreted (though I would hope that people would look at your record
> of contribution and give you the benefit of the doubt).   Your last sentence
> is very true.   In this particular case, however, there is enough interest
> that the whole thing will not peter out, but there is a strong chance that
> there will be competing groups with divergent needs and interests vying for
> how the project should develop.
>
> There are many people who rely on NumPy and are concerned about its
> progress.   NumFocus was created to fight for resources to further the whole
> ecosystem and not just rely on volunteers that are available.   I
> fundamentally do not believe that model can scale.    There are, however,
> ways to keep things open source and allow people to work on NumPy as their
> day-job.  Several companies now exist that benefit from the NumPy code base
> and will be interested in seeing it grow.
>
> It is a mis-characterization to imply that I "left the project" without a
> "hand-off".   I never handed off the project because I never left it.   I
> was very busy at Enthought.  I will still be busy now.   But, NumPy is very
> important to me and has remained so.   I have spent a great deal of mental
> effort trying to figure out how to contribute to its growth.   Yes, I
> allowed other people to contribute significantly to the project and was very
> receptive to their pull requests (even when I didn't think it was the most
> urgent thing or something I actually disagreed with).

Sorry that I missed this part of numpy history, I always had the
impression that numpy is run by a community led by Chuck and the young
guys, David, Pauli, Stefan, Pierre; and Robert on the mailing list .
(But I came late, and am just a balcony muppet.)

Josef

>
> That should not be interpreted as having "left".   NumPy grew because it
> solved a useful problem and people were willing to tolerate its problems to
> make a difference by contributing.     None of us matter as much to NumPy as
> the problems it helps people solve.   To the degree it does that we are
> "lucky" to be able to contribute to the project.   I hope all NumPy
> developers continue to be "lucky" enough to have people actually care about
> the problems NumPy solves now and can solve in the future.
>
> -Travis
>
>
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> Chuck
>
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