[Numpy-discussion] Numpy governance update

Mark Wiebe mwwiebe@gmail....
Wed Feb 15 14:55:16 CST 2012

On Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 12:09 PM, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett@gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi,
> On Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 11:46 AM, Benjamin Root <ben.root@ou.edu> wrote:
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 1:32 PM, Alan G Isaac <alan.isaac@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >> 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.
> Yes, that was the most obvious example. I don't know about you, but I
> can't see any sign of that one being resolved.
> The other obvious example was the dispute about ABI breakage for numpy
> 1.5.0 where I believe Travis did invoke some sort of committee to
> vote, but (Travis can correct me if I'm wrong), the committee was
> named ad-hoc and contacted off-list.
> >
> >>
> >> 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?
> Honestly it would make me very happy if the discussion moved to what
> form the governance should take.  I would have thought that 3 was too
> small a number.

One thing to note about this point is that during the NA discussion, the
only people doing active C-level development were Charles and me. I suspect
a discussion about how to recruit more people into that group might be more
important than governance at this point in time.

If we need a formal structure, maybe a good approach is giving Travis the
final say for now, until a trigger point occurs. That could be 6 months
after the number of active developers hits 5, or something like that. At
that point, we would reopen the discussion with a larger group of people
who would directly play in that role, and any decision made then will
probably be better than a decision we make now while the development team
is so small.


> We should look at what other projects do.   I think
> that this committee needs to be people who know numpy code; projects
> using numpy could advise, but people developing numpy should vote I
> think.
> There should be rules of engagement, a constitution, especially how to
> deal with disputes with Continuum or other contracting organizations.
> I would personally very much like to see a committment to consensus,
> where possible on these lines (as noted previously by Nathaniel):
> http://producingoss.com/en/consensus-democracy.html
> Best,
> Matthew
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