[Numpy-discussion] Meta: help, devel and stackoverflow

Hanno Klemm klemm at phys.ethz.ch
Thu Jun 28 17:30:54 EDT 2012

Am 28.06.2012 um 23:07 schrieb Matthew Brett:

> Hi,
> On Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 1:42 PM, srean <srean.list at gmail.com> wrote:
>> In case this changes your mind (or assuages fears) just wanted to
>> point out that many open source projects do this. It is not about
>> claiming that one is more important than the other, nor does it
>> reinforce the idea that developers and users live in separate silos,
>> but more of directing the mails to different folders. No policing is
>> required as well, just reply to the author and to the appropriate
>> list.
> Yes, I know this split is common, but I don't think it works very  
> well.
> I see that sympy, for example, has only one mailing list, and that
> works extremely well.  I'd be interested to hear from the Cython and
> IPython guys as to whether they feel the user / devel split has helped
> or hurt.  Ferando? Dag?
> And I continue to think it sends the wrong message.
> My impression is that, at the moment, we numpy-ers are trying to work
> out what kind of community we are. Are we a developer community, or
> are we some developers who are users of a library that we rely on, but
> do not contribute to?  The split between a 'user' and a 'developer'
> carries an idea that is very important - exactly now.  So, I
> (personally) think that exactly now we should not do this.   Maybe
> later when we've really confronted the - ideas - that are the source
> of the current trouble.

Let me share the point of view of a typical(?) lurker on this list. I  
have raised a few questions quite a while back that were very much in  
"user land". I will probably (unfortunately) never actively contribute  
to the development of numpy but I like to know what's going on. As  
long as the bulk of postings are technical discussions I am quite  
happy to receive (and often delete) long threads that are totally  
above my head. However every once in a while there are these rather  
personal exchanges (I am loath to call them discussions) that  
basically clutter up everyones inbox. In principle, I would be happy  
to just delete them after a very cursory reading like almost all other  
posts, however, I have to admit they scare me, because this list was a  
place where even beginning users like myself could ask questions and  
get very helpful replies. The change in tone due to those discussions  
is discouraging to post simple questions (at least to me).

So if this rather harsh tone of personal arguments is going to  
continue, I would very much favour a user and a developer list just  
because it reduces the barrier of asking "stupid" questions for new  
users. I would, however, very much prefer this list to go back to the  
previous style of being very technical with a supposting tone. Then I  
could still follow the discussions regarding the development of numpy  
and see some user questions mixed in...


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