[Numpy-discussion] Created NumPy 1.7.x branch

Travis Oliphant travis at continuum.io
Tue Jun 26 12:24:56 EDT 2012

>> Let us note that that problem was due to Travis convincing David to include the Datetime work in the release against David's own best judgement. The result was a delay of several months until Ralf could get up to speed and get 1.4.1 out. Let us also note that poly1d is actually not the same as Matlab poly1d.
> This is not accurate, Charles.  Please stop trying to dredge up old history you don't know the full story about and are trying to create an alternate reality about.   It doesn't help anything and is quite poisonous to this mailing list.
> I didn't start the discussion of 1.4, nor did I raise the issue at the time as I didn't think it would be productive. We moved forward. But in any case, I asked David at the time why the datetime stuff got included. I'd welcome your version if you care to offer it. That would be more useful than accusing me of creating an alternative reality and would clear the air.

The datetime stuff got included because it is a very useful and important feature for multiple users.   It still needed work, but it was in a state where it could be tried.   It did require breaking ABI compatibility in the state it was in.   My approach was to break ABI compatibility and move forward (there were other things we could do at the time that are still needed in the code base that will break ABI compatibility in the future).    David didn't want to break ABI compatibility and so tried to satisfy two competing desires in a way that did not ultimately work.     These things happen.    We all get to share responsibility for the outcome.   

> You have a narrative about the past that seems very different from mine --- and you apparently blame me personally for all that is wrong with NumPy.
> You started this blame game. You could have simply said, "here is how we will move forward." 

I'm sorry you feel that way.  My intent was not to assign blame --- but of course mailing lists can be notoriously hard to actually communicate intent.     My intent was to provide context for why I think we should move forward in a particular way. 

> This is not a helpful perspective and it just alienates us further and is a very polarizing perspective.   This is not good for the community nor for our ability to work productively together.
> Calling this and that 'gratuitous' is already damaging to the community. Them's fightin' words. If you didn't want a fight you could have simply pointed out a path forward.

They were not intended as "fighting words".   I used the term in a very specific way as used by the Python developers themselves in describing their hope in moving from Python 2 to Python 3.   Clearly your semantic environment interpreted them differently.   As I have emphasized, I did not mean to disrespect you or anyone else by using that term.  

From where I sit, however, it seems you are anxious for a fight and so interpret everything I say in the worst possible light.    If that is really the case, then this is a very bad state of affairs.   We can't really communicate at that point.  It will be impossible to agree on anything, and the whole idea of finding consensus just won't work.   That's what I'm concerned about, fundamentally.   You don't seem to be willing to give me the benefit of the doubt at all.  

Just like anyone who has created something, I feel a sense of "ownership" of NumPy.   It might be helpful to recognize that I also feel that way about SciPy.   In the case of SciPy, however, I have handed that project off to Ralf, Pauli, Warren, Josef, and others who are able to spend the time on it that it deserves.  That internal mental decision to formally "hand off" SciPy did not come, though, until the end of last year and the first of this year.   Perhaps it should have come sooner, but SciPy took a lot of time from me during a lot of formative years and I've always had very high hopes for it.   It's hard to let that go. 

I am not ready to formally "hand off" my involvement with NumPy at all --- especially not now that I understand so much better what NumPy should and can be and how it's being used.    Of course, I recognize that it's a team effort.   I can't help but feel that you wish I would just "hand off" things to someone else and get out of Dodge.    I understand that NumPy would not be what it is today without your contributions, those of David, Mark, Robert, Pauli and so many other people, but I'm not going anywhere at least for the foreseeable future.    

I've respected that "team effort" perspective from the beginning and remain respectful of it.    I recognize that you must feel some sense of "ownership" of NumPy as well.   I suspect there are several others that feel the same way.   Right now, though, we need to work as hard as we can to reconcile our different perspectives so that we can do our very best to serve and respect the time of the users who have adopted NumPy. 


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