[SciPy-dev] SciPy Foundation

Gael Varoquaux gael.varoquaux@normalesup....
Sun Aug 2 16:09:42 CDT 2009

On Sun, Aug 02, 2009 at 03:44:49PM -0500, Neil Martinsen-Burrell wrote:
>  I think that there is a tendency for active researchers to
>  underestimate the importance of undergraduate-level learning and I
>  hope that in this discussion, we will keep in mind the singular
>  importance of that young audience.

That's all good and nice. I agree with you it is important, and I am very
happy to hear people talking about this, because it makes me hope that we
will be getting more help to do this.

If I work my ass off on an IDE, or more simply a GUI frontend, it won't
help me get more work done, which means shooting papers out, to be
cynical, and, in a few years, I will most likely not be doing any
scientific Python anymore. On the other hand, if I work on something that
is useful for my day to day work, I get some traction at the lab, and my
sleepless face is more easily forgiven. If I build an IDE that is of no
use to our work, nobody cares, and for a good reason.

This is not to say that we shouldn't be working on the IDE, I believe
that I am one of the people that have actually written code to do this,
but there is a lot of work to be done here, and working on making sure
that we have a shell to do this, and interactive plotting, and good
documentation is part of this work, and can be reused for direct research
interests. Writing docs is also something that can help a lot, does not
require extensive technical knowledge and takes a lot of time.

Actually, I must point out that I am quite unhappy, because I am very
tired, I have spent the week end fixing bugs on various open source
projects (nipy and mayavi) and answering complicated users questions. I
find that to be told that we are underestimating the importance of ease
of use and ease of learning is unfair. This simply takes a lot of time
and some of us are working on it.


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