[Numpy-discussion] Args for rand and randn: call for a vote

Robert Kern robert.kern at gmail.com
Sun Jul 9 01:44:07 CDT 2006

Ed Schofield wrote:
> On 09/07/2006, at 12:04 AM, Robert Kern wrote:
>> I would like to ask about the purpose of calling for a vote, here.  
>> What
>> authority do you intend the result to have? If you are just asking  
>> for a straw
>> poll of opinions from the list to inform Travis' decision, do you  
>> think that he
>> hasn't read the previous discussions? Are previous non-participants  
>> being drawn
>> out of the woodwork? ...
> No authority at all -- it's just a straw poll.  My intention is  
> merely to ascertain whether there's indeed a groundswell of public  
> opinion for this change among NumPy's users, as is my suspicion.   
> Previous non-participants are indeed coming out of the woodwork.
> The reason I've listed only one alternative to the status quo is that  
> this is a simple, concrete proposal that has bubbled up several times  
> from the discussion, which may have broad enough support to tip  
> Travis's decision.
> I know that you, Robert, disagree with the proposal and have put  
> forward an alternative.  Fair enough, but let's now hear what others  
> have to say.

The problem I have is that the way this happened is ineffective at doing that 
honestly. Fogel's book has a good discussion about how these should be 
conducted. You can't just pick the options that are convenient for you. You 
can't argue for your favorite in the CFV. You should provide pointers to the 
previous discussions so that newcomers can understand what the arguments are. 
You should encourage people to come up with alternatives that might achieve 
consensus rather than just picking the ones on the ballot.

Otherwise, the poll just serves as rhetorical ploy, not a way to ascertain 
people's opinions.

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
  that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
  an underlying truth."
   -- Umberto Eco

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