[AstroPy] proposal for astropy version control software and respository

Thomas Robitaille thomas.robitaille at gmail.com
Sat Jul 16 09:20:08 EDT 2011

Hi Peter,

I understand your concerns that this might seem premature - just to
explain our motives behind a yes/no poll at this stage: we got the
impression from previous discussions on this list and from the
discussions and success stories at scipy that this was something that
most people would either agree with, or not have a strong opinion
about. We can have had a lengthy debate about the detailed advantages
of git vs hg vs svn vs other if needed, but we wanted to see whether
that debate could be avoided in the first place if most people agreed
anyway, hence the early poll (think of it as testing the waters). But
we do want people to voice concerns or questions if you have any!

For me, the fact that numpy, scipy, matplotlib, and ipython all went
through the pain of migrating to git and github (which did not happen
overnight) should be reassuring, and you can be sure that they all had
lengthy discussions before doing this. This is not a case of 'the cool
kids are doing it, so we should do it too', but I sincerely believe
from previous experience that github is a great platform for reaching
out to a community and getting as many people involved in the coding.

I hope this clarifies things a little!


On 16 July 2011 06:52, Peter Erwin <erwin at mpe.mpg.de> wrote:
> I'm concerned that this poll is perhaps a little premature and not
> sufficiently well justified. It feels a trifle too much like "A small
> group of us got together and decided what to do; we're not really
> interested in your input or in explaining our reasons or in having a
> wider discussion first, so just vote on it."
> (I realize I'm way overdoing the atrribution of sinister motives here,
> and I apologize; but this is in rather stark constrast with the ongoing
> discussion over documentation, which seems to be progressing well in
> evaluating the various alternatives and answering questions raised....)
> So... unpack, please!
> * Why git, and not mercurial (or even bazaar)?
> (My understanding is that mercurial -- which I've used -- is closer
> in syntax and commands to subversion than is the case for git, which
> argues for mercurial as possibly more accessible to people who
> haven't worked with either before, but who have worked with svn or
> CVS...)
> * Why github, and not, say Bitbucket or Google Code?
> (I'm not saying that this has to be a long, drawn-out discussion by any
> means; but at the moment the haste and lack of justification tempts me
> to vote "No" largely as method of protest.)
>   -- Peter
> On Jul 15, 2011, at 8:47 PM, Perry Greenfield wrote:
>> Given discussions at scipy (consisting primarily of a good number of
>> people from STScI, CFA/Chandra, and Gemini) it seemed clear to most of
>> us there that the most straightforward choice for the astropy version
>> control software and repository was git and github. This is what most
>> of the science-based Python projects are using and they generally seem
>> quite happy with it. Since we are encouraging distributed
>> contributions, it also would seem we should favor a distributed vcs
>> over a non-distributed one (i.e., svn). So we (Erik, Tom and me) are
>> proposing that we simply put this particular choice to a yes/no vote.
>> Here is a link to the poll:
>> http://astropy.wikispaces.com/VCS+and+hosting+poll
>> Should there be a significant level of objection to this, we'll look
>> at seeing if there is a stronger consensus for something else.
>> Perry
>> _______________________________________________
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>> AstroPy at scipy.org
>> http://mail.scipy.org/mailman/listinfo/astropy
> =============================================================
> Peter Erwin                   Max-Planck-Insitute for Extraterrestrial
> erwin at mpe.mpg.de              Physics, Giessenbachstrasse
> tel. +49 (0)89 30000 3695     85748 Garching, Germany
> fax  +49 (0)89 30000 3495     http://www.mpe.mpg.de/~erwin
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