[Numpy-discussion] What is consensus anyway

Matthew Brett matthew.brett@gmail....
Wed Apr 25 17:49:29 CDT 2012


On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 1:35 PM, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 9:39 AM, Travis Oliphant <travis@continuum.io> wrote:
>> I don't agree here. People work on open source to scratch an itch, so the
>> process of making a contribution needs to be easy. Widespread veto makes it
>> more difficult and instead of opening up the process, closes it down. There
>> is less freedom, not more. That is one of the reasons that the smaller
>> scikits attract people, they have more freedom to do what they want and
>> fewer people to answer to. Scipy also has some of that advantage because
>> there are a number of packages to choose from. The more strict the process
>> and the more people to please, the less appealing the environment becomes.
>> This can be observed in practice and the voluntary nature of FOSS amplifies
>> the effect.
>> It is true that it is easier to get developers to contribute to small
>> projects where they can control exactly what happens and not have to appeal
>> to a wider audience to get code changed and committed.   This effect is
>> well-illustrated by the emergence of scikits in the presence of SciPy.
>> However, the idea that "people work on open source to scratch an itch" is
>> incomplete.
> 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?
> Would you consider asking that question directly on list and asking
> for the most honest possible answers?

Aha - I now realize that I was reading too quickly under the influence
(again) of too much caffeine, and missed this part of Travis' email:

>  In this context, I'm especially interested
> in making sure that it's not just the developers who get to decide what
> happens to NumPy.   Nathaniel has clarified very well what "veto-power"
> really means.  It's not absolute, it just means that users who write clear
> arguments get "listened to" actively.   It doesn't replace the need for
> developers with wisdom and understanding of user-experiences, but "active
> listening" is a useful skill that we could all improve on:
>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_listening    A list full of bright,
> interested, active listeners is the kind of culture we need on this list.
>  It's the kind of attitude we need from maintainers of NumPy.

which mostly answers my worry, and I apologize for pushing on an open door.

See you,


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