[Numpy-discussion] Numpy governance update - was: Updated differences between 1.5.1 to 1.6.1

Benjamin Root ben.root@ou....
Tue Feb 14 19:26:34 CST 2012

On Tuesday, February 14, 2012, Travis Oliphant <travis@continuum.io> wrote:
>> I have to agree with Mathew here, to a point.  There has been
discussions of these groups before, but I don't recall any announcement of
this group.  Of course, now that it has been announced, maybe a link to it
should be prominent on the numpy/scipy pages(maybe others?).  It should
also be in the list of mailing lists.
> I'm happy for all these discussions to be in the open.
>> A funding org much like the Linux Foundation would be great, and I am
all for it.  A separate governing committee is also important, and I think
we had some very good ideas in previous discussions.
>> I also have to agree with Matthew's concerns about the concentration of
developer resources at Continuum.  I think that establishing a
community-driven governance committee would be crucial in making sure that
Continuum's (and Enthought's??) efforts go to serve both the community and
the company's customers.
> I can try and re-assure you that all will be well, but I know that time
is the only thing that will prove that out as each one will decide for
themselves whether or not their input is valued and acted upon.   To
provide some perspective, for the next 5 months at least, Continuum will be
providing 3.5 people at least 50% to the NumPy project plus dev ops help to
get issue tracking and continuous build integration set up.    After that
we will have at least 1.5 people devoted full-time to the open-source NumPy
project (more if possible).    I would like this support to actually go
through the Foundation (which already has a community governance and
non-profit mission statement), but this takes some leg-work in getting the
Foundation setup and organizing those contracts.   But, that is my intent
and what I am working to get in place eventually.

That's good, and all of this is all in NumPy's benefit.  I think that This
is now the perfect time to establish some sort of governance, even if it is
provincial.  This has absolutely nothing against you (as you have done an
excellent job so far), but now that the numpy community has grown this much
and there are so many stake-holders, a formal governance will be essential
for community cohesion.

> Obviously, the fact that I am deeply involved in NumPy complicates the
question of "community governance" for some people, but I hope you will
trust that we are just trying to improve NumPy as we understand it.   I
remain interested in others views of what "improving NumPy" means.   But, I
do have a long list of ideas that I am anxious to get started on.

And I don't want the governance to hinder those ideas.  I just see it as
inevitable that there will be disagreements and having an agreed-upon
structure by which to resolve them would be most beneficial.  Also, such a
committee could be used to solicit feedback on RFCs and NEPs.

>> Travis, in about a month, I will be starting up work at a company that
has been users of the SciPy stack, but has not been active members of the
community.  I wish to change that. Will this Funding committee serve as a
face for numpy for private companies?
> Absolutely.   The Foundation web-site is getting set up right now.  It
will be an evolving thing, and your feedback about how the Foundation can
help you get your company involved will be very helpful.    I would like
multiple companies to interact through the Foundation, and that is how I
would ultimately like Continuum to interact with the community as well.
The fact that Continuum employs people who work on NumPy should be no more
concerning than the fact that Google employs people that work on Python, or
that Enthought employs people who work on SciPy and NumPy.   I recognize
that my role in NumPy, the Foundation, and my company may be concerning for
some.   I firmly believe that NumPy is successful because of everybody who
has participated.  I am not interested in somehow changing that.   I just
want to do what I can to accelerate it.
> I look forward to working with you and your company in the Foundation.

Me too.

Ben Root
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