[SciPy-Dev] SciPy docs: volunteers needed now!

Vincent Davis vincent@vincentdavis....
Fri Jul 2 14:46:38 CDT 2010

On Fri, Jul 2, 2010 at 1:28 PM, Emmanuelle Gouillart
<emmanuelle.gouillart@normalesup.org> wrote:
> Hi all,
> On Fri, Jul 02, 2010 at 02:40:01PM -0400, Matthew Brett wrote:
> [need for volunteers]
>> I wonder whether there is any other approach that we can explore to
>> help generate more volunteer work?    Do you think it is mainly the
>> difference between scipy and numpy that explains the drop-off?   Or
>> something else?    To the extent that it is the technical differences
>> - do you think there would be any point in trying to establish
>> something like nominated experts or want-to-find-out type experts who
>> will offer to advise on particular parts of scipy - even if they don't
>> themselves write the docstrings?   Or anything else that might help?
> I'm pretty sure that the observed lack of momentum is due to the
> increased technicity of Scipy, as compared to Numpy.
> I myself feel that there is only a small fraction of Scipy docstrings I
> could contribute to (that is, of course, docstrings of the functions that
> I use). This is not quite true, because it's always possible to add
> examples to a docstring even if one is not familiar with the function,
> but we can't expect people to work on stuff they never use...

There are actually a lot of functions that have very lacking docs and
I think we should consider (and let it be known) small
improvements/examples as being worth contributing and
updating/commiting the docstrings with these small improvements.
For example I am looking at stats._support  I am sure it is a seldom
used corner of scipy but the docs are nearly non-existant.

More generaly, is it possible to add something to every scipy-user
email that asks/reminds users to contribute to the docs. something
added to the
SciPy-User mailing list

I think it might be worth seeing if we can get 100 people to write 100 lines.


> Therefore I think the paid coordinator has a very important "Public
> Relation" task, which consists in identifying who uses which parts of
> Scipy and building a network of contributors. I would advocate writing
> personally to people posting on the mailing-list, asking if they could
> contribute to previously-identified functions, or if a student of them
> could, etc. Of course, this is a quite laborious work, but documenting
> Scipy won't be a mass effort like Numpy's documentation.
> I could try to do some more work on the documentation of
> ndimage.morphology (on which I have worked a lot in the Spring) and
> ndimage.measurements, but this may happen only in ten days: we're busy
> organizing Euroscipy at the moment!
> Cheers,
> Emmanuelle
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