Hi Britton,

I think your suggestion is great.  Like Nathan, I agree that a ytep should potentially be a good place to codify the procedures associated with pull requests, releases, making contributions, etc.  Having them written down is key, so there aren't any misunderstandings about what one developer thinks is the standard versus another developer.

As far as a governing body, I guess I don't know what you suggest.  You mean like 3-5 people who "direct" the overall direction of the code and features to tackle in the not-so-distant future and deal with some of the other issues you raise like conflict resolution, stability, and credit?  I could potentially be in favor of this depending on the details.

I do think that it would be great to have a mechanism in place to recognize major contributors to the yt effort, although I'm not sure what that is.  Previously we had some sort of informal list of core developers, but that's basically just self-selected and doesn't really make it outside of this email list (if it even makes it here).  The time and effort that many of us put into yt is substantial and there isn't much official recognition of this, so I'm definitely in favor of creating something to ameliorate this problem, but I don't really know what.

So in summary, I'm in favor of moving this discussion forward, but I don't have any mind-bending suggestions at this point.


On Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 2:11 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.


yt-dev mailing list

Cameron Hummels
Postdoctoral Researcher
Steward Observatory
University of Arizona