[Numpy-discussion] NA masks in the next numpy release?

Benjamin Root ben.root@ou....
Tue Oct 25 13:24:42 CDT 2011

On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 1:03 PM, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett@gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi,
> On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 8:04 AM, Lluís <xscript@gmx.net> wrote:
> > Matthew Brett writes:
> >> I'm afraid I find this whole thread very unpleasant.
> >
> >> I have the odd impression of being back at high school.  Some of the
> >> big kids are pushing me around and then the other kids join in.
> >
> >> It didn't have to be this way.
> >
> >> Someone could have replied like this to Nathaniel:
> >
> >> "Oh - yes - I'm sorry -  we actually had the discussion on the pull
> >> request.  Looking back, I see that we didn't flag this up on the
> >> mailing list and maybe we should have.  Thanks for pointing that out.
> >>  Maybe we could start another discussion of the API in view of the
> >> changes that have gone in".
> >
> >> But that didn't happen.
> >
> > Well, I really thought that all the interested parties would take a look
> at [1].
> >
> > While it's true that the pull requests are not obvious if you're not
> using the
> > functionalities of the github web (or unless announced in this list), I
> think
> > that Mark's announcement was precisely directed at having a new round of
> > discussions after having some code to play around with and see how
> intuitive or
> > counter-intuitive the implemented concepts could be.
> I just wanted to be clear what I meant.
> The key point is not whether or not the pull-request or request for
> testing was in fact the right place for the discussion that Travis
> suggested.   I guess you can argue that either way.   I'd say no, but
> I can see how you would disagree on that.
This is getting very meta... a disagreement about the disagreement.

> The key point is - how much do we value constructive disagreement?
Personally, I value it very much.  My impression of the discussion we all
had at the beginning was that the needs of the two distinct communities
(R-users and masked array users) were both heard and largely addressed.
Aspects of both approaches were used, and the final result is, IMHO,
inspired and elegant.  Is it perfect? No.  Are there ways to improve it?
Absolutely, and I fully expect that to happen.

> If we do value constructive disagreement then we'll go out of our way
> to talk through the points of contention, and make sure that the
> people who disagree, especially the minority, feel that they have been
> fully heard.
> If we don't value constructive disagreement then we'll let the other
> side know that further disagreement will be taken as a sign of bad
> faith.
> Now - what do you see here?  I see the second and that worries me.
It is disappointing that you choose not to participate in the thread linked
above or in the pull request itself.  If I remember correctly, you were
working on finishing up your dissertation, so I fully understand the time
constraints involved there.  However, the pull request and the email
notification is the de facto method of staging and discussing changes in any
development project.  No objections were raised in that pull request, so it
went in after some time passed.  To hold off the merge, all one would need
to do is fire off a quick comment requesting a delay to have a chance to
review the pull request.

Luckily, git is a VCS, so we are fully capable of reverting any necessary
changes if warranted.  If you have any concerns or suggestions for changes
in the current implementation, feel free to raise them and open additional
pull requests.  There is no "ganging up" here or any other subterfuge.  Tell
us exactly what are your issues with the current setup, provide example code
demonstrating the issues, and we can certainly discuss ways to improve this.

Remember, we *all* have a common agreement here.  NumPy needs better support
for missing data (in whatever form).  Let's work from that assumption and
make NumPy a better library to use for everybody!

Ben Root
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