[Numpy-discussion] Numpy governance update

Benjamin Root ben.root@ou....
Wed Feb 15 13:46:36 CST 2012

On Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 1:32 PM, Alan G Isaac <alan.isaac@gmail.com> wrote:

> On 2/15/2012 1:50 PM, Matthew Brett wrote:
> > I believe that leaving the governance informal and underspecified at
> > this stage would be a grave mistake, for everyone concerned.
> To justify that concern, can you point to an
> analogous case, where things went awry by not
> formalizing the governance structure?
> Can you provide an example where a more formal
> governance structure for NumPy would have meant
> more or better code development? (Please do not
> suggest the NA discussion!)
Why not the NA discussion?  Would we really want to have that happen
again?  Note that it still isn't fully resolved and progress still needs to
be made (I think the last thread did an excellent job of fleshing out the
ideas, but it became too much to digest.  We may need to have someone go
through the information, reduce it down and make one last push to bring it
to a conclusion).  The NA discussion is the perfect example where a
governance structure would help resolve disputes.

> Can you provide an example of what you might
> envision as a "more formal governance structure"?
> (I assume that any such structure will not put people
> who are not core contributors to NumPy in a position
> to tell core contributors what to spend their time on.)
> Early last December, Chuck Harris estimated that three
> people were active NumPy developers.  I liked the idea of
> creating a "board" of these 3 and a rule that says any
> active developer can request to join the board, that
> additions are determined by majority vote of the existing
> board, and  that having the board both small and odd
> numbered is a priority.  I also suggested inviting to this
> board a developer or two from important projects that are
> very NumPy dependent (e.g., Matplotlib).
> I still like this idea.  Would it fully satisfy you?
I actually like that idea.  Matthew, is this along the lines of what you
were thinking?

> Still, honestly, I have trouble seeing how implementing this
> idea would currently have much affect on the substance or
> extent or direction of the conversations about NumPy.
Personally, I see it more for creating official long-term goal-posts, and
for resolving disputes.  Not every change needs to go through this board,
that would be overkill.  But maybe the board can have a process for dealing
with NEPs and RFCs.  I can envision having the representatives of other
projects (such as SciPy and matplotlib) can file official comments on any
NEPs regarding possible impacts and usefulness.

> Thanks,
> Alan
> PS Just to jog the group memory, Travis announced more than
> four months ago *on this list* that he had "been approached
> about the possibility of creating a foundation to support
> the development of SciPy and NumPy", and had become
> interested in creating a "Foundation for the Advancement of
> Scientific, Technical, and Engineering Computing Using High
> Level Abstractions (FASTECUHLA)", and had created an open
> discussion list for this at  fastecuhla@googlegroups.com
I don't think that is in dispute.  Personally, I think it would have been
nice to get occasional status updates along the way, "keeping us in the
loop".  This didn't happen, but I am not going to complain too much on
this.  The group is still a work in progress and I think it is only fair
that the group occasionally pings this mailing-list for important progress

My two cents,
Ben Root
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