[Numpy-discussion] What is consensus anyway

josef.pktd@gmai... josef.pktd@gmai...
Wed Apr 25 17:24:07 CDT 2012


On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 5:54 PM, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 2:35 PM, Travis Oliphant <travis@continuum.io> wrote:
>>>
>>> Do you agree that Numpy has not been very successful in recruiting and
>>> maintaining new developers compared to its large user-base?
>>>
>>> Compared to - say - Sympy?
>>>
>>> Why do you think this is?
>>
>> I think it's mostly because it's infrastructure that is a means to an end.   I certainly wasn't excited to have to work on NumPy originally, when my main interest was SciPy.    I've come to love the interesting plateau that NumPy lives on.    But, I think it mostly does the job it is supposed to do.     The fact that it is in C is also not very sexy.   It is also rather complicated with a lot of inter-related parts.
>>
>> I think NumPy could do much, much more --- but getting there is going to be a challenge of execution and education.
>>
>> You can get to know the code base.  It just takes some time and patience.   You also have to be comfortable with compilers and building software just to tweak the code.
>>
>>
>>>
>>> Would you consider asking that question directly on list and asking
>>> for the most honest possible answers?
>>
>> I'm always interested in honest answers and welcome any sincere perspective.
>
> Of course, there are potential explanations:
>
> 1) Numpy is too low-level for most people
> 2) The C code is too complicated
> 3) It's fine already, more or less
>
> are some obvious ones. I would say there are the easy answers. But of
> course, the easy answer may not be the right answer. It may not be
> easy to get right answer [1].   As you can see from Alan Isaac's reply
> on this thread, even asking the question can be taken as being in bad
> faith.  In that situation, I think you'll find it hard to get sincere
> replies.

I don't see why this shouldn't be the sincere replies, I think these
easy answers are also the right answer for most people.

maybe I would add
4) writing code for a few hundred thousand users is a big
responsibility and a bit scary

Except for a few "core" c developers, most contributors contribute to
parts of numpy, best example Pierre and masked arrays, or specific
functions. Life goes on for most developers in the application areas,
I guess. For example I'm very glad about the time that Pauli is
spending on scipy.

numpy is "great" [1]

Josef

>
> Best,
>
> Matthew
>
> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_to_Great

[1]
http://sourceforge.net/projects/numpy/files/stats/timeline?dates=2000-01-11+to+2012-04-25
http://qa.debian.org/popcon.php?package=python-numpy

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