[Numpy-discussion] What is consensus anyway

Nathaniel Smith njs@pobox....
Wed Apr 25 05:07:29 CDT 2012

On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 4:02 AM, Charles R Harris
<charlesr.harris@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 8:56 PM, Fernando Perez <fperez.net@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 6:12 PM, Charles R Harris
>> <charlesr.harris@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > I admit to a certain curiosity about your own involvement in FOSS
>> > projects,
>> > and I know I'm not alone in this. Google shows several years of
>> > discussion
>> > on Monotone, but I have no idea what your contributions were
>> Seriously???
>> Please, let's rise above this.  We discuss people's opinions *on their
>> technical merit alone*, regardless of the background of the person
>> presenting them.  I don't care if Linus himself shows up on the list
>> with a bad idea, it should be shot down; and if someone we'd never
>> heard of brings up a valid point, we should respect it.
>> The day we start "checking credentials at the door" is the day this
>> project will die as an open source effort.  Or at least I think so,
>> but perhaps I don't have enough 'commit credits' in my account for my
>> opinion to matter...
> Fernando, I'm not checking credentials, I'm curious. Nathaniel has
> experience with FOSS projects, unlike us first timers, and I'd like to know
> what that experience was and what he learned from it. He has also mentioned
> Graydon Hoare in connection with RUST, and since Graydon was the prime mover
> in Monotone I'd like to know the story of the project.

Yeah, I don't want to get into resumes and such here, since it'd be
hard to avoid turning it into one of those "whose has a bigger FOSS"
pecking-order contests, which I find both unpleasant and
counter-productive. If I've learned anything useful from experience,
then I've already tried to summarize it here (and really, experience
may or may not guarantee any kind of wisdom). If you want to swap war
stories, ask me some day over a $BEVERAGE :-).

After sleeping on it, I was wondering if part of your objection to the
consensus stuff is just to the word "veto"? Would you feel more
comfortable if it was phrased like, "the maintainers have noticed that
trying to pick and choose on contentious issues tends to come back and
bite them, so they've decided that they will not accept changes unless
they have reasonable certainty that all substantive objections from
the userbase have been worked through and resolved"? It means the same
thing in the end, but perhaps makes clearer how the "power" actually

-- Nathaniel

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