[Numpy-discussion] consensus (was: NA masks in the next numpy release?)

Matthew Brett matthew.brett@gmail....
Sun Oct 30 02:00:43 CDT 2011


On Sat, Oct 29, 2011 at 11:19 PM, Travis Oliphant
<oliphant@enthought.com> wrote:

Thanks again for your email, I'm sure I'm not the only one who
breathes a deep sigh of relief when I see your posts.

> I appreciate Nathaniel's idea to pull the changes and I can respect his desire to do that.   It seemed like there was a lot more heat than light in the discussion this summer.   The differences seemed to be enflamed by the discussion instead of illuminated by it.  Perhaps, that is why Nathaniel felt like merging Mark's pull request was too strong-armed and not a proper resolution.
> However, I did not interpret Matthew or Nathaniel's explanations of their position as manipulative or inappropriate.  Nonetheless, I don't think removing Mark's changes are a productive direction to take at this point.   I agree, it would have been much better to reach a rough consensus before the code was committed.  At least, those who felt like their ideas where not accounted for should have felt like there was some plan to either accommodate them, or some explanation of why that was not a good idea.  The only thing I recall being said was that there was nobody to implement their ideas.   I wish that weren't the case.   I think we can still continue to discuss their concerns and look for ways to reasonably incorporate their use-cases if possible.
> I have probably contributed in the past to the idea that "he who writes the code gets the final say".    In early-stage efforts, this is approximately right, but success of anything relies on satisfied users and as projects mature the voice of users becomes more relevant than the voice of contributors in my mind.   I've certainly had to learn that in terms of ABI changes to NumPy.

I think that's right though - that the person who wrote the code has
the final say.  But that's the final say.   The question I wanted to
ask was the one Nathaniel brought up at the beginning of the thread,
which is, before the final say, how hard do we try for consensus?  Is
that - the numpy way?   Here Chuck was saying 'I listen to you in
proportion to your code contribution' (I hope I'm not misrepresenting
him).   I think that's different way of working than the consensus
building that Karl Fogel describes.  But maybe that is just the numpy
way.  I would feel happier to know what that way is.   Then, when we
get into this kind of dispute Chuck can say 'Matthew, change the numpy
constitution or accept the situation because that's how we've agreed
to work'.   And I'll say - 'OK - I don't like it, but I agree those
are the rules'.  And we'll get on with it.  But at the moment, it
feels as if it isn't clear, and, as Ben pointed out, that means we are
having a discussion and a discussion about the discussion at the same

See you,


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