[Numpy-discussion] Re: Purchasing Documentation

Chris Barker Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
Mon Oct 3 22:12:48 EDT 2005

Tim Churches wrote:

> I think there needs to be some community debate about this.

Well, no, there doesn't. Travis is doing two things:

1) Spending a great deal of his time producing some wonderful open 
source software.

2) Embarking on a small business venture, trying to sell books.

There is no need for community debate about an individual's business 
venture. It might benefit Travis to do a bit more market research, but 
as was pointed out, there's no reason he couldn't lower those limits and 
open source the book sooner if he chooses to.

Travis Oliphant wrote:
> I am interested in feedback.  If  you don't buy the book because you 
> think I'm asking too much money, then let me know.

Since you ask, I think $39.99 is a bit steep for an electronic copy. As 
a quick comparison, I just bought the new wxWidgets book, documenting 
another open source project. You can get a printed copy from Amazon for 

I also do think Tim has a point. Usually the open source model is that 
the basic reference docs are freely available, and there are nice user 
and newbie friendly books for sale. It will be much harder for 
scipy.base to catch on if there are no freely available docs.

However, having looked at the little bit of the book that is now 
available, the quality and detail are far beyond what one usually finds 
in open-source references (with the possible exception of the python 
references). It certainly looks better than the old NumPy docs, which 
were still adequate.

I have no doubt that the NumPy community will produce some free "getting 
started" docs anyway, so we can all be happy. Maybe, as Tim suggests, we 
could fill a Wiki with the existing Numpy docs, and all start editing away!


Christopher Barker, Ph.D.
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Chris.Barker at noaa.gov

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