[SciPy-dev] [SciPy-User] SciPy Foundation

Joe Harrington jh@physics.ucf....
Sat Aug 1 12:10:45 CDT 2009

[Replying only on scipy-dev, per the original post.]

David wrote:

> I think it is very important to keep in mind that in any open source
> project, telling people what to do does not work well. Not everybody
> will share the same goals, are interested in scipy in the same way,
> etc...  So any structure should help people doing what they want for
> scipy's sake, but above all, should not alienate anyone who would
> have worked on scipy otherwise. It may just be rhetoric, but saying
> that "it would be nice for scipy to have this goal" instead of "we
> should do this" matters IMHO.

I think (hope!) that everyone understands that anything posted here is
a personal opinion and that none of us feels we are in a position to
give orders.  Nobody is boss or supervisor to the whole list.  When I
write, "We need...," of course I am writing "It is my opinion that we
need," etc., but that gets tedious both to write and to read.  Visions
should be bold.

That said, there do need to be goals, standards, etc.  Those do
translate into telling people what to do.  I think the key point is
that it must be the community, not any individual, that does the
telling.  For example, we are engaged in a discussion of a plan I
floated.  The list I posted is "my plan", but already we've added code
to the funding umbrella and no doubt there will be more changes (I
fully expected Robert Kern to flip out about my suggestion to remove
functions from numpy...maybe he didn't read that far...I expect to
lose that one.:-).  I think that once it's the community's plan, we
can say no to contributions that don't fit, that conflict with others,
that are too slow or insufficient, and so on, because we will have the
critical mass to replace those contributions with ones the community
thinks are better.  We see this already with the vigilant rejection of
change requests to the numpy API and the review comment system on the
doc wiki.  We can and have to say no occasionally, to maintain our
direction and our standards.  We just have to be careful about it and
make sure it is based on established community goals and norms, not
one person's random opinion.

More on some of your other points later...


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