[Numpy-discussion] Numpy governance update

Chris Barker chris.barker@noaa....
Thu Feb 16 11:23:30 CST 2012


On Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 11:23 AM, Inati, Souheil (NIH/NIMH) [E] > As
great and trustworthy as Travis is, there is a very real
> potential for conflict of interest here. He is going to be leading an
> organization to raise and distribute funding and at the same time > leading a commercial for profit enterprise that would apply to this
> foundation for funds, as well as being a major player in the
> direction of the open source project that his company is building
> on.
>
> This is not in and of itself a problem, but the boundaries have to
> be very clear and laid out in advance.

I disagree here -- a business that contributes to an Open-Source
project is really no different than an individual that contributes --
it (or he or she) contributes because it sees a benefit -- that could
be financial, that could be just for fun, whatever. Sometime
individuals get paid to contribute, sometimes companies do  -- why is
there a difference?

To be personal about it -- Continuum writing a bunch of numpy code
will be no different than when Travis personally on his own time wrote
bunch of numpy code -- and I think we all agree that the project and
the community is very grateful he did that when he did.

If anyone (company or individual) goes off on their own and writes a
bunch of code that community doesn't embrace, then we have a fork --
sometimes that for the better, but for the most part, I think everyone
involved does not want to see that  happen -- and I think there is a
general consensus that a more formal governing stucture is a good
idea, in part to prevent that.

HOwever -- it's still an open source project -- no onde (or
institution) can tell anyone else what to do or how to do it, the the
project will be moved forward by those that actually do stuff:
  - write core code
  - write supporting code
  - document stuff
  - test stuff
  - package stuff
  - contribute tech support on the list
  - contribute to the conversion about development issues
  - .......

and yes -- actually getting around to forming a foundation, or
securing funding, or other institutional activities.

So while it may seem like a small group of people kind of went off on
their own to form a foundation -- that's the only way things ever get
done on an open-source project! There may or may not be a lot of
discussion about something first, but it only gets down when someone
sits down and does it.

So Bravo for moving the project forward!

-Chris


-- 

Christopher Barker, Ph.D.
Oceanographer

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