[SciPy-dev] Scipy workflow (and not tools).

Andrew Straw strawman@astraw....
Tue Feb 24 18:06:02 CST 2009

Stéfan van der Walt wrote:
> Rob,
> 2009/2/25 Rob Clewley <rob.clewley@gmail.com>:
>> I don't want to have the responsibility of "owning" anything about the
>> existing code for ODE solving (and maybe some other numerical
>> methods), even though I have some stake in it. But I'll happily share
>> in some of the reviewing and possibly testing of changes and
>> improvements to that code.
> I think you raise an important point.
> As an Open Source project, we could could succeed without much (any)
> formal hierarchy.  Naturally, the system evolves into a kind of
> meritocracy, where capability and dedication counts heavily (as it
> should).
> Informal ownership (I care for this code, therefore I take note of its
> progress) is helpful in moderate doses.  For example, I like the fact
> that Nathan reviews all patches related to sparse matrices; he knows
> that part of SciPy extremely well, and his advice is valuable.  Of
> course, other reviews of such a patch would be just as welcome.
> The main argument I tried to put forth earlier was:
> Contributing to a project is easy when you know what is expected of
> you (clear guidelines), and when you know that you'll be treated on
> merit alone (the same as everybody else).  Merit carries no malice,
> and is about as impartial as it gets.

I also want to point out that a formal code review process that is open
(such as a web gui) encourages participation by people who may not feel
they have the time or abilities to write new code, but would feel
comfortable commenting on a patch sitting in front of them. I think it
new developers could be fostered this way, too. Finally, while the
prospect of having code go up for review won't encourage Travo to submit
new code, it might have that effect on someone with less experience who
is afraid that his/her new feature won't compile on Windows (for
example). A formal code review process allows that person to put
something online and say "don't apply as-is -- I'm looking for help
integrating with Windows" or simply "I got this far, but I wonder how to
do XXX". I realize these things are possible, to a degree, with Trac,
but I agree that a better workflow process would be very useful.


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