[SciPy-Dev] Recent changes to scipy stats

David Goldsmith d.l.goldsmith@gmail....
Tue Jun 1 03:07:12 CDT 2010

On Mon, May 31, 2010 at 11:38 PM, Travis Oliphant <oliphant@enthought.com>wrote:

> My recent changes to trunk certainly started a controversy.   I'm not
> exactly sure why.    I do not mean to give the impression that people should
> "clean" up after me which has been implied by some.   Please let me know if
> there is something specific that you would like me to do.
> I appreciate the speific concerns that Ralf raised as opposed to
> "generalizations" and metaphors that are open to interpretation.   All of
> his concerns have been addressed, I think, except the addition of all tests
> that some would like to see.
> Some of the added methods are so simple, that I do not think they require
> tests to verify their accuracy --- you can look at the code and understand
> it.    In cases like this I get somewhat frustrated with a naive fixed rule
> like "no check-ins" without "tests".
> There can always be more tests, but tests cost and should be part of a
> general improvement strategy and not just trotted out as a weapon when there
> is disagreement about something else.
> Is there a disagreement about other changes that have been made?    The
> only one I can think of that could be controversial is perhaps pulling in
> Josef's expect methods from his file when he did not want the "API" methods
> finalized.   I'm fine with removing them if he wants to do that.
> Perhaps, the interface I chose to fix certain parameters for the fit
> methods is also in question.    I really don't know as I have received no
> specific communication about the concerns.   I welcome any review or comment
> on what has been done.
> As I am not able to follow all threads on SciPy-User and SciPy-Dev, I did
> not know that Ralf was going to create the 0.8.x branch when he did.
>  Perhaps I should have known, but I did not know.
> -Travis

IMO, the problem - in general, not just w/ any one person - is not the
particulars of what's been done, but the attitude, when it's exhibited by an
individual, any individual, that the rules may be disregarded when that
individual, any individual, unilaterally and spontaneously decides those
rules are inconvenient.  The rules are there for very good reasons;
paraphrasing a recent set of statements by Robert K.:

We should follow the rules that we have agreed to because we should make
good on our promises. Otherwise, we might as well not make those
promises...don't look for excuses to break them...break them [only] when it
would be Really Bad if [one] were to follow them. Generally...try to make
good on [one's] promises and not renege on them just because [one]
*think[s]* no one [else] will notice...[only] break rules/promises when they
are in tension with other promises. This is not such a case.

Words to commit by.  (Thanks, Robert; my apologies if you would rather not
have been quoted in this way/situation.)

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