[SciPy-dev] Scikits and stuff

Travis E. Oliphant oliphant@enthought....
Fri Dec 28 01:13:40 CST 2007


Anne Archibald wrote:
> On 28/12/2007, Fernando Perez <fperez.net@gmail.com> wrote:
>   
>> - scikits: domain-specific toolkits and other self-contained packages
>> that might be at some point candidates for scipy, but aren't yet
>> mature enough to be included in the core.  License can be BSD or GPL,
>> per-package.  It's a namespace package, so users can install only the
>> components they want and update each independently.
>>     
>
> I think I agree with this - not that I'm a developer, but I hope you
> won't mind a user's opinion: it's really hard to tell whether a
> package will eventually become part of scipy or not.
I certainly love users opinions as I think developers usually get things 
wrong because it is easy to forget what being a user is like.

For certain cases, it is true that whether or not something is general 
purpose changes over time.  But right now it is already the case that we 
have scikits that should be going into scipy and my big question is why 
they are not already there.    Nothing I have heard alleviates the 
problem that namespace clarity is designed to address:

 * for users it will be much saner if common things go into scipy so 
that we don't end up with more and more ways to do common things like 
optimization
 * however, for developers there is no real incentive to move things 
from scikits into scipy if everything is just lumped together into scikits
 * there is also no simple way for an outside user to understand whether 
something in scikits is really slated for inclusion in SciPy or not

There really is a difference between the kinds of things that Fernando 
is lumping into scikits.  What prompted me to ask for new namespaces is 
precisely because I was thinking of proposing "tags" to go along with 
the packages.   But, namespaces seems like a much better idea than 
adding a new layer called "tags" for the same namespace.

-Travis



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