On Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 12:22 PM, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett@gmail.com> wrote:

On Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 5:11 PM,  <josef.pktd@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 11:04 AM, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> On Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 3:34 PM,  <josef.pktd@gmail.com> wrote:
>> [snip]
>> > I don't really see a problem with "codifying" the status quo.
>> That's an excellent point.    If we believe that the current situation
>> is the best possible, both now and in the future, then codifying the
>> status quo is an excellent idea.
>> So, we should probably first start by asking ourselves:
>> * what numpy is doing well;
>> * what numpy could do better;
>> and then ask, is there some way we could make it more likely we will
>> improve over time.
>> [snip]
>> > As the current debate shows it's possible to have a public discussion
>> > about
>> > the direction of the project without having to delegate providing a
>> > vision
>> > to a president.
>> The idea of a president that I had in mind, was not someone who makes
>> all decisions, but the person who holds themselves responsible for the
>> performance of the project.  If the project has a coherent vision
>> already, the president has no need to provide one, but it's the
>> president's job to worry about whether we have vision or not, and do
>> what they need to, to make sure we don't lose track of that.   If you
>> don't know it already, I highly recommend Jim Collins' work on 'level
>> 5 leadership' [1]
> Still doesn't sound like the need for a president to me
> " the person who holds themselves responsible for the
> performance of the project"
> sounds more like the role of the "core" group (adding plural to persons) to
> me, and cannot be pushed of to an official president.

Except that, in the past, having multiple people taking decisions has
led to the situation where no-one feels themselves accountable for the
result, hence this situation tends to lead to stagnation.

Is there any evidence for this?

First, it's several individuals taking joint decisions, jointly agree or not object (LGTM) to merging PRs, it's still a joint decision and accountability is not exclusive. The PR review process makes decisions much more into a joint decision process than it was with isolated SVN commits. (*)

Second, if there are separated decisions, then it could also lead to excess change. All these enthusiastic new developers bringing in whatever they (and the local chief) like, and nobody to stop them.

In either case, the developer, or local chief, has to deal with the consequences. You merged this PR, now fix it. or Why are you holding up this PR? I can merge it.

(*) Even though I'm not a scipy developer anymore, I still feel partially responsible for it, I'm still reviewing some PRs and comment on them, sometimes as cheerleader in favor of something or sometimes pointing out problems, or just checking that it makes sense, and always with an eye on what downstream impact it might have.

Another thought: Having an accountable president might actually reduce the feeling of accountability and responsibility of individual developers, so the neteffect is negative.
"The president is responsible for this (even though he doesn't have enough time), so I can skip part of this review."



> Nathaniel to push and organize the discussion, Chuck for continuity, and
> several core developers for detailed ideas and implementation, and a large
> number of contributors. (stylized roles)
> and noisy mailing list for feedback and discussion.
> Given the size of the numpy development group, numpy needs individuals for
> the vision and to push things not a president, vice-presidents and assistant
> vice-presidents, IMO.

Yes, if the roles were honorary and administrative, they would not be useful.

I'm not sure what you mean here. Given that it's all volunteer work, any president wouldn't have any hard tools. 




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