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

Matthew Brett matthew.brett@gmail....
Tue Oct 25 14:04:52 CDT 2011


On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 11:24 AM, Benjamin Root <ben.root@ou.edu> wrote:
> 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.

Yes, the important point is a social one.  The other points are details.

>> The key point is - how much do we value constructive disagreement?
> Personally, I value it very much.

Well - I think everyone believes that that they value constructive
discussion, but the question is, what happens when people really

> 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.

To be clear once more, I personally feel we don't need to discuss:

1) Whether Mark did a good job on the code (I have high bias to imagine so).
2) Whether something along these lines would be good to have in numpy

>> 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.

I think the pull-request was not the right vehicle for the discussion,
you think it was, that's fine, I don't think we need to rehearse that.

My question (if you are answering my question) is: if you put yourself
in my or Nathaniel's shoes, would you feel that you had been warmly
encouraged to express disagreement, or would you feel something else.

> 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.

Has the situation changed since the counter-NEP that Nathaniel and I wrote up?

> 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!

I remember walking past a church in a small town in the California
desert.  It had a sign outside saying 'People who are busy rowing do
not have time to rock the boat'.  This seemed to me a total failure to
understand the New Testament, but also a recipe for organizational

See you,


More information about the NumPy-Discussion mailing list