[Numpy-discussion] Future of numpy (was: DARPA funding for Blaze and passing the NumPy torch)

Ondřej Čertík ondrej.certik at gmail.com
Thu Dec 20 20:51:49 EST 2012

On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM, Ondřej Čertík <ondrej.certik at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Matthew,
> On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 3:46 PM, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> [Travis wrote...]
>>> My strong suggestion is that development discussions of the project continue on
>>> this list with consensus among the active participants being the goal for
>>> development.  I don't think 100% consensus is a rigid requirement --- but
>>> certainly a super-majority should be the goal, and serious changes should not be
>>> made with out a clear consensus.     I would pay special attention to
>>> under-represented people (users with intense usage of NumPy but small voices on
>>> this list).   There are many of them.    If you push me for specifics then at
>>> this point in NumPy's history, I would say that if Chuck, Nathaniel, and Ralf
>>> agree on a course of action, it will likely be a good thing for the project.   I
>>> suspect that even if only 2 of the 3 agree at one time it might still be a good
>>> thing (but I would expect more detail and discussion).    There are others whose
>>> opinion should be sought as well:  Ondrej Certik, Perry Greenfield, Robert Kern,
>>> David Cournapeau, Francesc Alted, and Mark Wiebe to name a few.    For some
>>> questions, I might even seek input from people like Konrad Hinsen and Paul
>>> Dubois --- if they have time to give it.   I will still be willing to offer my
>>> view from time to time and if I am asked.
>> Thank you for starting this discussion.
>> I am more or less offline at the moment in Cuba and flying, but I hope
>> very much this will be an opportunity for a good discussion on the
>> best way forward for numpy.
>> Travis - I think you are suggesting that there should be no  one
>> person in charge of numpy, and I think this is very unlikely to work
>> well.   Perhaps there are good examples of well-led projects where
>> there is not a clear leader, but I can't think of any myself at the
>> moment.  My worry would be that, without a clear leader, it will be
>> unclear how decisions are made, and that will make it very hard to
>> take strategic decisions.
>> I would like to humbly suggest the following in the hope that it spurs
>> discussion.
>> As first pass, Ralf, Chuck and Nathaniel decide on a core group of
>> people that will form the succession committee.  Maybe this could be
>> the list of people you listed above.
>> Ralf, Chuck and Nathaniel then ask for people to wish to propose
>> themselves as the leader of numpy.  Anyone proposing themselves to
>> lead numpy would remove themselves from the succession committee.
>> The proposed leaders of numpy write a short manifesto saying why they
>> are the right choice for the job, and what they intend to do if
>> elected.  The manifestos and issues arising are discussed in public on
>> the mailing list - the equivalent of an online presidential debate.
>> In due course - say after 2 weeks or after the discussion seems to be
>> dying out - the succession committee votes on the leader.  I propose
>> that these votes should be public, but I can see the opposite
>> argument.
> Travis has very clearly made "Chuck, Nathaniel, and Ralf" as the leaders
> of the project. But as always ---- he didn't pick them because he
> needed to create leaders. They were already the de-facto leaders
> of the project due to their actions, involvements and respect in the community,
> so he just made it official.
>> How does that sound?
> To me that sounds like a bad idea. That being said, if Chuck,
> Nathaniel, and Ralf
> agree that it would be a good idea, that's fine with me too.

I forgot to add --- Matthew, I'll be happy to discuss this over phone
once you get back to the US. I know we had discussions over this
in the past, but I couldn't offer much advice, as I didn't understand
the inner working of the numpy development. I now understand
it much better.


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