[Numpy-discussion] What is consensus anyway

Benjamin Root ben.root@ou....
Wed Apr 25 17:29:49 CDT 2012

On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, Matthew Brett wrote:

> Hi,
> On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 2:35 PM, Travis Oliphant <travis@continuum.io<javascript:;>>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> Do you agree that Numpy has not been very successful in recruiting and
> >> maintaining new developers compared to its large user-base?
> >>
> >> Compared to - say - Sympy?
> >>
> >> Why do you think this is?
> >
> > I think it's mostly because it's infrastructure that is a means to an
> end.   I certainly wasn't excited to have to work on NumPy originally, when
> my main interest was SciPy.    I've come to love the interesting plateau
> that NumPy lives on.    But, I think it mostly does the job it is supposed
> to do.     The fact that it is in C is also not very sexy.   It is also
> rather complicated with a lot of inter-related parts.
> >
> > I think NumPy could do much, much more --- but getting there is going to
> be a challenge of execution and education.
> >
> > You can get to know the code base.  It just takes some time and
> patience.   You also have to be comfortable with compilers and building
> software just to tweak the code.
> >
> >
> >>
> >> Would you consider asking that question directly on list and asking
> >> for the most honest possible answers?
> >
> > I'm always interested in honest answers and welcome any sincere
> perspective.
> Of course, there are potential explanations:
> 1) Numpy is too low-level for most people
> 2) The C code is too complicated
> 3) It's fine already, more or less
> are some obvious ones. I would say there are the easy answers. But of
> course, the easy answer may not be the right answer. It may not be
> easy to get right answer [1].   As you can see from Alan Isaac's reply
> on this thread, even asking the question can be taken as being in bad
> faith.  In that situation, I think you'll find it hard to get sincere
> replies.

As with anything, the phrasing of a question makes a world of a difference
with regards to replies. Ask any pollster.  When phrased correctly, I would
not have any doubt about the sincerely of replies, and I would not worry
about previewed hostility -- when phrased correctly. As the questioner, the
onus is upon you to gauge the community and adjust the question

I think the fact that we engage in these discussions show that we value and
care about each others perceptions and opinions with regards to numpy.

Ben Root
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