[Numpy-discussion] What is consensus anyway

Charles R Harris charlesr.harris@gmail....
Tue Apr 24 22:50:59 CDT 2012

On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 9:28 PM, Fernando Perez <fperez.net@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 8:02 PM, Charles R Harris
> <charlesr.harris@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Fernando, I'm not checking credentials, I'm curious.
> Well, at least I think that an inquisitive query about someone's
> background, phrased like that, can be very easily misread.  I can only
> speak for myself, but I immediately had the impression that you were
> indeed trying to validate his background as a proxy for the
> discussion, and suggesting that others had the same curiosity...
> Had the question been something more like "Hey Nathaniel, what other
> projects do you think could inform our current view, maybe from stuff
> you've done in the past or lists you've lurked on?", I would have a
> very different reaction.  But this sentence:
> """
> I admit to a certain curiosity about your own involvement in FOSS
> projects, and I know I'm not alone in this.
> """
> definitely reads to me with a rather dark and unpleasant angle. Upon
> rereading it again now, I still don't like the tone.  I trust you when
> you indicate that your intent was different; perhaps it's a matter of
> phrasing, or the fact that English is not my native language and I may
> miss subtleties of native speakers.
Perhaps it was a bit colored, but even so, I'd like to know some specifics
of his experience. Monotone was one of the projects that sprang up after
Linus started using Bitkeeper as an open alternative, but that is actually
fairly recent (2003 or so) and much of the discussion seems to have been
carried on over IRC, rather than a mailing list. I'm guessing that some
other projects could have taken place in the 90's, but things have changed
so much since then that it is hard to know what was going on in that
decade. There was certainly work on the C++ Template library, Linux,
Python, and various utilities. But it is hard to know. In any case, I'd
guess that Monotone was a fairly tight knit community, and about 2007 most
of the developers left. I'd guess it was mostly a case of git and mercurial
becoming dominant, and possibly they also lost interest in DVCS and moved
on to other things.

Numpy itself has gone through several of those transitions, and looking
back, I think one of the problems was that when Travis left for Enthought
he didn't officially hand off maintenance. The whole transition was a bit
lucky, with David, Pauli, and myself unofficially continuing the work for
the 1.3 and 1.4 releases. At that point I was hoping David could more or
less take over, but he graduated, and Pauli would have been an excellent
choice, but he took up his graduate studies. Turnover is a problem with
open source, and no matter how much discussion there is, if people aren't
doing the work the whole thing sort of peters out.

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