[Numpy-discussion] What is consensus anyway

Charles R Harris charlesr.harris@gmail....
Tue Apr 24 18:49:53 CDT 2012

2012/4/24 Stéfan van der Walt <stefan@sun.ac.za>

> On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 2:25 PM, Charles R Harris
> <charlesr.harris@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> Why are we having a discussion on NAN's in a thread on consensus?
> >> This is a strong indicator of the problem we're facing.
> >
> > We seem to have a consensus regarding interest in the topic.
> For the benefit of those of us interested in both discussions, would
> you kindly start a new thread on the MA topic?
> In response to Travis's suggestion of writing up a short summary of
> community principles, as well as Matthew's initial formulation, I
> agree that this would be helpful in enshrining the values we cherish
> here, as well as in communicating those values to the next generation
> of developers.
I think we adhere to these pretty well already, the problem is with the
word 'everyone'. I grew up in Massachusetts where town meetings were a
tradition. At those meetings the townsfolk voted on the budget, zoning,
construction of public buildings, use of public spaces and other such
topics. A quorum of voters was needed to make the votes binding, and apart
from that the meeting was limited to people who lived in the town, they,
after all, paid the taxes and had to live with the decisions. Outsiders
could sit in by invitation, but had to sit in a special area and were not
expected to speak unless called upon and certainly couldn't vote. So that
is one tradition, a democratic tradition with a history of success. We are
a much smaller community, physically separated, and don't need that sort of
exclusivity, but even so we have our version of resident and taxes, which
consists of hanging out on the list and contributing work. I think everyone
is welcome to express an opinion and make an argument, but not everyone has
a veto. I think a veto is a privilege, not a right, and to have that
privilege I think one needs to demonstrate an investment in the project,
consisting in this case of code contributions, code review, and other such
mundane tasks that demonstrate a larger interest and a willingness to work.
Anyone can do this, it doesn't require permission or special dispensation,
Numpy is very open in that regard. Folks working in related projects, such
as ipython and pandas, are also going to be listened to because they have
made that investment in time and work and the popularity of Numpy depends
on keeping them happy. But a right to veto doesn't automatically extend to
everyone who happens to have an interest in a topic.

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