Hi folks,

Chiming in as somebody who is on the far periphery of yt development (having only contributed a couple of bug fixes/minor updates), I think that creation of a formal governance structure is a significant positive step.  Given the distributed nature of the development team some level of coordination is critical, and I also think that having a set of carefully-considered standards about who gets a vote in terms of code direction, and how many of these votes are needed to enact substantial change (as opposed to the ad-hoc "preponderance of +1s from the mailing list" method) is an exceedingly good idea, as it will hopefully enhance the group's decision-making and make it more reflective.

I also want to comment on the monthly team meetings.  In addition to posting meeting minutes, perhaps the meeting coordinator or secretary could organize an agenda for the meeting and post it to the yt-dev mailing list a couple of days ahead of time?  That way, people who are not participating in the meeting, but who may have some input on the issues at hand, have an opportunity to email suggestions.

Finally, one other point: I can't help but notice that while the technical aspects of yt will be represented in these team meetings, there is no *explicit* representation of the yt user community or yt documentation.  While in principle this isn't a problem -- Matt has made the point many times that the difference between user and developer isn't necessarily meaningful in our context -- I do think that having somebody involved whose explicit responsibility is to consider the questions "how will this impact the broader yt user community?" and "what's missing from the documentation that could be added or improved?" may be beneficial.

Anyway, small nit-picks aside, I think this is a great idea.  Thanks to Britton for starting the ball rolling!

--Brian




On Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 4:20 PM, Matthew Turk <matthewturk@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Britton,

I think this is really, really important, and I'm really happy with
the YTEP as it stands.

We've only gotten feedback from a few people.  I think it's really
important to get both positive and negative feedback from people on
this -- even to the level of "geez, stop taking yourselves so
seriously!" :)  Do you think maybe an email to the yt-users mailing
list would be productive?  Or even directly writing to the people
identified as "founding" members?

-Matt

On Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 4:50 PM, Britton Smith <brittonsmith@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
>
> I have just issued a pull request to the YTEP repository containing an
> initial draft of yt team guidelines.  I encourage everyone to take a look at
> it and offer their feedback.  In case you don't get the notification, the PR
> can be viewed here:
> https://bitbucket.org/yt_analysis/ytep/pull-request/40/ytep-1776-team-infrastructure/diff
>
> Britton
>
>
> On Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM, Britton Smith <brittonsmith@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>>
>> Hi Sam,
>>
>> This is an excellent point.  I think it's important not to overburden a
>> single person by being forever responsible for a large chunk of the code.  I
>> also think it's good to give as many as are willing an opportunity to share
>> the role.  Perhaps there is a team of people or subcommittee that is
>> responsible for figuring out who their representative is.  This can be
>> ironed out.
>>
>> I think we've gotten enough positive response to start thinking about a
>> YTEP that lays it all out.  I will start something this week, ask for
>> feedback, and we can all develop this together.
>>
>> In the mean time, if you would still like to chime in on this discussion,
>> please do so.
>> Thanks, everyone.
>>
>> Britton
>>
>>
>> On Sun, Aug 17, 2014 at 4:20 PM, Sam Skillman <samskillman@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>>
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> Britton -- I really like these ideas, and I like the member level being
>>> defined as write access.
>>>
>>> I'm a bit more concerned about the officers designation in terms of the
>>> logistics of matching people with sections of the code. I could see
>>> something working where on a 6-month basis, each of the main areas in yt are
>>> assigned a lead.  That lead isn't necessarily the person who has written the
>>> most in the area, but rather a person who is willing to keep track of that
>>> area of the codebase for the next 6 months, so that when it comes to doing
>>> releases, they are the ones that know what has changed and where things are
>>> not working well.  Maybe that's too much of a process, but I also think we
>>> should be wary of assigning potentially long-lasting labels to either people
>>> or code. Semi-regular meetings for this set of people would be great.
>>>
>>> Anyways, I'm definitely a +1 on a YTEP for all of this, and look forward
>>> to hearing more!
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>> Sam
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sat, Aug 16, 2014 at 7:08 PM, B.W. Keller <kellerbw@mcmaster.ca>
>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> +1, absolutely.  Right now, yt has a really high bus factor.  I think
>>>> this would help that a lot.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 7:40 PM, Chris Malone <chris.m.malone@gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> +1 as well on all suggestions
>>>>>
>>>>> > On Aug 15, 2014, at 5:32 PM, Kenza Arraki <karraki@nmsu.edu> wrote:
>>>>> >
>>>>> > I wanted to put my strong +1 out there even though I don't respond
>>>>> > often to dev emails. This sounds like a great direction for yt!
>>>>> >
>>>>> > -Kenza
>>>>> >
>>>>> > ---
>>>>> > Kenza Arraki
>>>>> > PhD candidate
>>>>> > New Mexico State University
>>>>> > Department of Astronomy
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> > On Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 4:06 PM, Michael Zingale
>>>>> > <michael.zingale@stonybrook.edu> wrote:
>>>>> >> these all sound like good ideas to me.  Some simply operating
>>>>> >> procedures,
>>>>> >> like "don't merge your own pull requests" might be good too.
>>>>> >>
>>>>> >>
>>>>> >> On Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 3:50 PM, Britton Smith
>>>>> >> <brittonsmith@gmail.com>
>>>>> >> wrote:
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>> I'm very in favor of putting some official procedures into a YTEP.
>>>>> >>> Having
>>>>> >>> a codified process may also help with conflict resolution as well.
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>> Apache does something with their projects where developers who make
>>>>> >>> sustained contribution are made "members" after nomination by
>>>>> >>> another member
>>>>> >>> and are given write access to the main repo.  It's a small thing,
>>>>> >>> but if we
>>>>> >>> perhaps have an official definition of "yt member" in a YTEP with a
>>>>> >>> posted
>>>>> >>> list of members, it can be something people can point to as a way
>>>>> >>> of
>>>>> >>> demonstrating that they've done significant work on the project.
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>> I think it might also be good to have officer-like positions where
>>>>> >>> people
>>>>> >>> are representatives for various areas of the code, such as data
>>>>> >>> structures,
>>>>> >>> visualization, analysis_modules, etc. and to have semi-regular
>>>>> >>> meeting of
>>>>> >>> these people.  This may be as much leadership as we need for now,
>>>>> >>> just a
>>>>> >>> group that meets on a schedule to make sure everyone's on the same
>>>>> >>> page with
>>>>> >>> releases and major development efforts.
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>> What do people think of something like this?
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>> On Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 4:58 PM, Matthew Turk
>>>>> >>> <matthewturk@gmail.com>
>>>>> >>> wrote:
>>>>> >>>>
>>>>> >>>> Hi Britton,
>>>>> >>>>
>>>>> >>>> Thanks for bringing this up -- it's a tough topic, but also I
>>>>> >>>> think
>>>>> >>>> really important.  At the WSSSPE conference last year, a paper was
>>>>> >>>> submitted talking about the Apache model:
>>>>> >>>>
>>>>> >>>>
>>>>> >>>>
>>>>> >>>> http://figshare.com/articles/Sustainable_Cyberinfrastructure_Software_Through_Open_Governance/790761
>>>>> >>>>
>>>>> >>>> which talks about a lot of related topics.  Apache does some
>>>>> >>>> interesting things.  They use the word "meritocracy" which I am
>>>>> >>>> rather
>>>>> >>>> -1 on using (see, for instance,
>>>>> >>>>
>>>>> >>>>
>>>>> >>>> http://www.ashedryden.com/blog/the-ethics-of-unpaid-labor-and-the-oss-community
>>>>> >>>> ) but I do think there is something to be said for a large part of
>>>>> >>>> their methods of organization.
>>>>> >>>>
>>>>> >>>> Like you, I think we are overdue.  I would like to point out that,
>>>>> >>>> for
>>>>> >>>> all intents and purposes, you are *already* the ombudsman for the
>>>>> >>>> yt
>>>>> >>>> community.  I don't think you're proposing we have a committee
>>>>> >>>> that
>>>>> >>>> bosses everyone around, but rather one that enables a larger
>>>>> >>>> number of
>>>>> >>>> people to have a say, particularly because yt has become embedded
>>>>> >>>> in
>>>>> >>>> many of our scientific workflows and it touches a lot of research
>>>>> >>>> activities now.  I like the idea of members.  I like the idea of a
>>>>> >>>> project management committee, but it's not clear to me how that
>>>>> >>>> would
>>>>> >>>> work, or which decisions we have made recently that they would
>>>>> >>>> weigh
>>>>> >>>> in on.  I also really like the idea of having "code liasons" to
>>>>> >>>> different data platforms and/or communities, and the idea of
>>>>> >>>> having
>>>>> >>>> people who are responsible for many different areas of the code
>>>>> >>>> and
>>>>> >>>> codifying that in some way is quite attractive to me.
>>>>> >>>>
>>>>> >>>> For what it's worth, a few weeks ago I gave a presentation on my
>>>>> >>>> "vision" for the future of yt (http://goo.gl/JKt6MA).  The thing
>>>>> >>>> is,
>>>>> >>>> while I gave this presentation, it's just *my* vision -- it is not
>>>>> >>>> necessarily anyone else's vision.  And I think it's time we have
>>>>> >>>> some
>>>>> >>>> method of taking into account a diverse set of opinions for what
>>>>> >>>> we as
>>>>> >>>> a community can emphasize, how we resolve conflicts, and so on and
>>>>> >>>> so
>>>>> >>>> forth.
>>>>> >>>>
>>>>> >>>> Again, thanks for bringing this up.  We need to have this
>>>>> >>>> conversation.
>>>>> >>>>
>>>>> >>>> -Matt
>>>>> >>>>
>>>>> >>>> On Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 4:11 PM, Britton Smith
>>>>> >>>> <brittonsmith@gmail.com>
>>>>> >>>> wrote:
>>>>> >>>>> Greeting yt developers,
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>> First, I want to congratulate everyone here on the successful
>>>>> >>>>> release
>>>>> >>>>> of yt-3.0.  This was a massive effort on the part of so many and
>>>>> >>>>> a
>>>>> >>>>> true testament to the strength of this team.
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>> At the time of writing this, there are 78 members of the yt-dev
>>>>> >>>>> mailing list.  As someone who does most of their work in very
>>>>> >>>>> small
>>>>> >>>>> collaborations, this amazes me and make me very proud.  In case
>>>>> >>>>> you're
>>>>> >>>>> wondering, the yt-users list has 268 members.
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>> As a project, yt has a significant amount of infrastructure: code
>>>>> >>>>> review with pull requests, issue tracking, automated testing,
>>>>> >>>>> emails
>>>>> >>>>> lists, an IRC channel, enhancement proposals, workshops.  All of
>>>>> >>>>> this
>>>>> >>>>> is evidence of our legitimacy as a Real Thing.  However, one big
>>>>> >>>>> missing piece is a system of governance.  I don't know exactly
>>>>> >>>>> what
>>>>> >>>>> this means, but I have some ideas, which I will share below.
>>>>> >>>>> What I
>>>>> >>>>> want to do right now is to start a discussion that will,
>>>>> >>>>> hopefully,
>>>>> >>>>> include as many people as possible on this list.
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>> For me, governance means (roughly) the following:
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>> - a set of procedures in writing for how various things are to be
>>>>> >>>>>  done, such as acceptance of pull requests, releases, designating
>>>>> >>>>>  developers as core contributors, etc.
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>> - a governing body to make decisions and help guide the project.
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>> This accomplishes a number of things, which as a project I think
>>>>> >>>>> we
>>>>> >>>>> need, such as:
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>> - overall stability of the project.
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>> - providing a system for conflict resolution.
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>> - maintaining the spirit of yt as a team effort.
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>> - providing a way for active contributors to get credit for their
>>>>> >>>>>  contribution in the form of official recognition.
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>> So, these are my initial thoughts, but I really think this
>>>>> >>>>> deserves a
>>>>> >>>>> thorough discussion with as many people participating as
>>>>> >>>>> possible.
>>>>> >>>>> Please, think about what governance means to you, whether we need
>>>>> >>>>> it,
>>>>> >>>>> what it should be, and what we might get out of it, and share
>>>>> >>>>> your
>>>>> >>>>> thoughts over the next few days.  I look forward to this
>>>>> >>>>> discussion.
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>> Britton
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> >>>>> yt-dev mailing list
>>>>> >>>>> yt-dev@lists.spacepope.org
>>>>> >>>>> http://lists.spacepope.org/listinfo.cgi/yt-dev-spacepope.org
>>>>> >>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> >>>> yt-dev mailing list
>>>>> >>>> yt-dev@lists.spacepope.org
>>>>> >>>> http://lists.spacepope.org/listinfo.cgi/yt-dev-spacepope.org
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> >>> yt-dev mailing list
>>>>> >>> yt-dev@lists.spacepope.org
>>>>> >>> http://lists.spacepope.org/listinfo.cgi/yt-dev-spacepope.org
>>>>> >>
>>>>> >>
>>>>> >>
>>>>> >> --
>>>>> >> Michael Zingale
>>>>> >> Associate Professor
>>>>> >>
>>>>> >> Dept. of Physics & Astronomy • Stony Brook University • Stony Brook,
>>>>> >> NY
>>>>> >> 11794-3800
>>>>> >> phone:  631-632-8225
>>>>> >> e-mail: Michael.Zingale@stonybrook.edu
>>>>> >> web: http://www.astro.sunysb.edu/mzingale
>>>>> >>
>>>>> >> _______________________________________________
>>>>> >> yt-dev mailing list
>>>>> >> yt-dev@lists.spacepope.org
>>>>> >> http://lists.spacepope.org/listinfo.cgi/yt-dev-spacepope.org
>>>>> > _______________________________________________
>>>>> > yt-dev mailing list
>>>>> > yt-dev@lists.spacepope.org
>>>>> > http://lists.spacepope.org/listinfo.cgi/yt-dev-spacepope.org
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> yt-dev mailing list
>>>>> yt-dev@lists.spacepope.org
>>>>> http://lists.spacepope.org/listinfo.cgi/yt-dev-spacepope.org
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
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>>>>
>>>
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>>
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