[AstroPy] AstroPy Digest, Vol 58, Issue 16

Perry Greenfield perry at stsci.edu
Tue Jun 14 16:32:48 EDT 2011

I wonder if the right approach is that for us a BDFL mainly ensures  
that all the various projects have consistency of interfaces, approach  
and such, but isn't worried about designing everything. That would  
devolve to BDFLs at a second level to take responsibility for more  
specific areas.

On Jun 14, 2011, at 4:17 PM, Tommy Grav wrote:

> On Jun 14, 2011, at 3:57 PM, Perry Greenfield wrote:
>> You must remember that it was easier with these two projects,  
>> particularly numpy. numpy is essentially a pretty clear integrated  
>> whole with a series of previous owner from which it was derived. At  
>> one point it was developed primarily by Jim Hugunin, then we did  
>> numarray, then Travis essentially merged the two.
>> Not quite so simple for scipy, but scipy started out mostly as  
>> gluing together existing libraries. As such, there weren't a lot of  
>> architectural decisions to make about interfaces (and I think some  
>> complain about the lack of consistency still as a result). These  
>> involve many, mostly mature, libraries that had their own primary  
>> developers (and still do for the most part).
>> In this case, we are talking about remaking much of the  
>> astronomical software from scratch with many different kinds of  
>> potential users. So I think in many respects, this is much more  
>> difficult than either numpy or scipy had to deal with in  
>> organizational terms.
> No question it is more difficult, which I think is one of the major  
> reasons current efforts have
> not managed to gain more traction in the community. I think some  
> general guidelines before
> packages are accepted into the library is needed, and that takes  
> some leadership by the most
> dedicated of the developers (and also the bravery to say no to  
> packages that have a coding
> style that clashes to much with the main part of the package). But  
> no question this is going
> to be a challenge and lots of work and time to get to the point  
> where numpy and scipy are
> today.
> Cheers
>  Tommy
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