[Numpy-discussion] Travis and the NumPy Documentation

Travis E. Oliphant oliphant@enthought....
Wed Jan 2 01:19:16 CST 2008

Bill Baxter wrote:
> I just read the blog post about Travis switching jobs Enthought.  Was
> that posted here?  If so I'm surprised I missed it.
I don't think it was posted here.  It was announced at SciPy and 
Enthought put out a press release (but the planet.scipy.org aggregator 
was not running at that point :-) )

> I have to say that I took some amount of inspiration from seeing how
> much you were able to do with the open source community while being a
> tenure track prof, since I've thought about going to academia myself,
> but would hate to give up involvement with open source projects.
> Maybe I need to rethink the academia thing now, though.
Perhaps times will change (and I would love it if they did).  William 
Stein is doing some great things with SAGE that may help.  But, you do 
need to be careful and clear about what your goals are.  
> My real question though -- I was wondering whether this move would
> have any impact on the NumPy documentation? 
Yes, it will have an impact but the exact details are still being worked 
out.   I am comfortable, however, in stating that Enthought has already 
made a significant contribution towards the release of the book in 
hiring me.
>  I purchased my copy, and
> am glad to have been able to contribute to your efforts by doing so,
> but I know not everyone feels the same.  If I recall, part of the
> incentive given for making the documentation for-fee was that your
> day-job didn't compensate you for writing such documentation or other
That was part of it.     There were basically two reasons for doing what 
I did:

1) I needed the money (to pay graduate students and to cover other bills).

2) I believe that the more open source can continue to connect with the 
money economy, the bigger it will be.  I want to see the kind of 
resources that are now spent on proprietary software development lead to 
open source software.    I see the market-determined mechanism that 
Trelgol proposed as one possible way for that to happen (among others 
that are being explored).   As a result, the "Guide to NumPy" experiment 
contains very useful information independent of anything else.

As soon as my house in Utah sells (I moved at a rather bad time....), 
point #1 will not be as critical for me anymore.    But, point #2 still 
remains until the book's market price is reached.   As it stands, it 
looks like the revenues are on target for release in 2009.   I'll know 
more details when the books are closed for 2007.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

-Travis O.

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