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

Matthew Brett matthew.brett at gmail.com
Thu Jun 28 17:39:02 EDT 2012


On Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 2:30 PM, Hanno Klemm <klemm at phys.ethz.ch> wrote:
> 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...

Yes, I think everyone wants the tone to be better.  My very clear
impression is that these arguments are signs of stress about real and
significant issues, and that when we get down to those issues, and
resolve them, then we will be in a better place than we were before.
I guess I'm hoping that we can be patient enough to see the shape of
the problem that keeps making this stuff happen,



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