[Numpy-discussion] Numpy governance update

Inati, Souheil (NIH/NIMH) [E] souheil.inati@nih....
Wed Feb 15 13:23:40 CST 2012


From: Matthew Brett [matthew.brett@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:50 PM
To: Discussion of Numerical Python
Subject: Re: [Numpy-discussion] Numpy governance update


On Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 5:51 AM, Alan G Isaac <alan.isaac@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 2/14/2012 10:07 PM, Bruce Southey wrote:
>> The one thing that gets over looked here is that there is a huge
>> diversity of users with very different skill levels. But very few
>> people have an understanding of the core code. (In fact the other
>> thread about type-casting suggests that it is extremely few people.)
>> So in all of this, I do not yet see 'community'.
> As an active user and long-time list member
> who has never even looked at the core code,
> I perhaps presumptuously urge a moderation
> of rhetoric. I object to the idea that users
> like myself do not form part of the "community".
> This list has 1400 subscribers, and the fact that
> most of us are quiet most of the time does not mean we
> are not interested or attentive to the discussions,
> including discussions of governance.
> It looks to me like this will be great for NumPy.
> People who would otherwise not be able to spend much
> time on NumPy will be spending a lot of time improving
> the code and adding features. In my view, this will help
> NumPy advance which will enlarge the user community, which will
> slowly but inevitably enlarge the contributor community.
> I'm pretty excited about Travis's bold efforts to find
> ways to allow him and others to spend more time on NumPy.
> I wish him the best of luck.

I think it is important to stick to the thread topic here, which is

It's not about whether it is good or bad that Travis has re-engaged in
Numpy and is funding development in Numpy through his company.   I'm
personally very glad to see Travis back on the list and engaged again,
but that's really not what the thread is about.

The thread is about whether we need explicit Numpy governance,
especially in the situation where one new company will surely dominate
numpy development in the short term at least.

I would say - for the benefit of Continuum Analytics and for the Numpy
community, there should be explicit governance, that takes this
relationship into account.

I believe that leaving the governance informal and underspecified at
this stage would be a grave mistake, for everyone concerned.



As another of the "silent" users of numpy, I agree with Matthew 100%.  As great and trustworthy as Travis is, there is a very real potential for conflict of interest here. He is going to be leading an organization to raise and distribute funding and at the same time leading a commercial for profit enterprise that would apply to this foundation for funds, as well as being a major player in the direction of the open source project that his company is building on. 

This is not in and of itself a problem, but the boundaries have to be very clear and layed out in advance.  Which hat is he wearing when he recommends one course of action over another?

I understand the company is just getting off the ground and that the foundation is even less well formed, but numpy is a mature code with lots of users. It's governance structure should reflect this. 

Continued thanks for all of the hard work. 

-Souheil Inati

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