[Numpy-discussion] NumPy documentation

John Hunter jdhunter at ace.bsd.uchicago.edu
Tue Apr 4 16:10:13 CDT 2006

>>>>> "Travis" == Travis Oliphant <oliphant at ee.byu.edu> writes:

    Travis> I received a rather hurtful email today that was very
    Travis> discouraging to me personally.  Basically, I was called
    Travis> "lame" and a "wolf" in sheep's clothing because I'm
    Travis> charging for documentation.  Fortunately it's the first

Wow, harsh.

I would just like to (for a second time) voice my support for your
charging for documentation, and throw out a couple of points for
people to consider who oppose it.

I think a low-ball estimate of the dollar value of the amount of time
Travis has donated to scientific python is about $500,000 dollars (5
years, full-time, $100k/yr -- this is low ball because he has probably
donated more time and he is certainly worth more than that annually!).
If he gets the $300,000 or so dollars he hopes to raise from this
book, he still has a net contribution of more than $200k.  Those of
you who are critical: have you put in that much of your time or money?

Secondly, I know personally that Travis has resisted several offers to
lure him from academia into industry.  Academia, by its nature,
affords more flexibility to develop open source software driven by
issues of breadth and quality rather than deadlines and customer
demands.  By charging for this book, it makes it more feasible for him
to continue to work in academia and support these projects.

Travis and I share some similarities: we both have a wife and kids,
with low-paying academic careers, and lead active python projects.
Only Travis leads two projects to my one and he has five kids to my
three.  I recently left academia for a job in industry because of
financial considerations, and while my firm is supportive of my
matplotlib development (we use it and python extensively in house), it
does leave me less time for development.  So to those of you grumbling
to Travis directly or behind the scenes, think about what he is giving
and back off.  And start donating some of your own time instead of
encouraging Travis to donate more of his.


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