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From Gilles <>
Subject Re: [ALL] The Commons Math issue
Date Fri, 14 Apr 2017 15:12:08 GMT
Hi Benedikt.

On Fri, 14 Apr 2017 12:49:25 +0200, Benedikt Ritter wrote:
> Hi,
> sorry for coming late to the table. I think Gary summed it up pretty 
> well:
> „I see busy people doing what they want when the want in all
> of Commons, respectfully and diligently.“
> After going through the mails, I still don’t understand how the PMC
> needs to change it ways in order to move CM forward. If there’s 
> nobody
> interested/has the time to maintain the code, so be it. I’m regularly
> monitoring the proper components and move those which really nobody
> needs anymore to dormant. CM has never been on my list.

For good reason; CM contains very useful code.
This discussion is (again) about the issue which I tried to tackle
all those years: avoid becoming irrelevant (in the Java world).

The CM team was too conservative; which, in a domain where there
is no wide interest (scientific computing in Java), was not an
asset (as usually upheld in "Commons").

> Regarding the decision to keep CM here at commons: As far as I
> remember (I’m sure Gilles has the likes to the archives ;-)) the PMC
> was pretty ambivalent and let it to the CM developers. That group
> decided it would be better to stay at commons.

This needs correction:
  1. All the CM regular developers voted to create a TLP (and we
     were even already discussing a name).
  2. During that discussion, I asked whether some of the roadblocks
     (mainly overly conservativeness) would be lifted.
     Then, rather than constructively lay out on how we can continue
     working for the benefit of everyone,[1] the initiative was
     "abandoned" following Phil Steitz's sudden decision to drop
     its PMC-chair candidacy for the new project.

> Later some of those
> people decided it would be better to move away from Apache all
> together.
> That’s okay for me.

It should have posed question to the PMC: Why do people decide
to leave?  Isn't there anything to do about it?

> My personal opinion is, that neither CM, nor numbers or RNG belong
> into commons. They are to specific and should form a TLP on their 
> own.

The only working definition I know of "Commons" is: a home for
projects too small to exist on their own.
I gathered that what is important is that there are people willing
to maintain the component.

> But that’s only my opinion.

I *really* do not understand how you form an opinion that
"RNG" and "Numbers" do not belong as rightfully as <any other>

> And I’m fine with the way it is now.

I should be happy then, but somehow it adds to the confusion
(not knowing why some would not support more components even
though they are expected to be "healthy for our ecosystem").


[1] I'm sure that it was possible (e.g. by having two lines
     of development).

> My 2 cents
> Benedikt
>> Am 13.04.2017 um 14:12 schrieb Gilles 
>> <>:
>> Hi Jörg.
>> On Thu, 13 Apr 2017 11:31:17 +0200, Jörg Schaible wrote:
>>> Hi Oliver,
>>> Oliver Heger wrote:
>>>> Am 12.04.2017 um 19:39 schrieb Gilles:
>>>>> On Wed, 12 Apr 2017 18:25:03 +0200, Emmanuel Bourg wrote:
>>>>>> On 04/12/2017 05:29 PM, Gilles wrote:
>>>>>>> Do you actually prefer advertizing a non-Apache project rather

>>>>>>> than
>>>>>>> having the PMC support its own developers in any which way it

>>>>>>> could?
>>>>>> If nobody is able to maintain commons-math I have no objection
>>>>>> recommending an alternative, especially one that is derived from
>>>>>> commons-math, has the same license and an open development 
>>>>>> process.
>>>>> The issue here is that an "in-house" solution has been proposed,
>>>>> based on time-consuming work on the part of developers still
>>>>> contributing here.
>>>>> The PMC members should logically (?) favour any proper endeavour
>>>>> that attempts to keep _this_ community alive.
>>>>> For functionality that requires expertise not existing anymore 
>>>>> around
>>>>> here, it would be fine though, of course.
>>>>> Thus I ask that we make a list of such functionality before 
>>>>> dismissing
>>>>> the local goodwill as if it didn't exist.
>>>>>> The minimal support you can expect from the PMC members is 
>>>>>> people voting
>>>>>> on the releases, and if there is no show stopper like binary
>>>>>> incompatibilities, awful regressions or improperly licensed 
>>>>>> code, the
>>>>>> vote will be a non-issue.
>>>>>>> How can you be so sure? The last releases did not elicit an 
>>>>>>> awful lot
>>>>>>> of votes; and that is for components that do not raise 
>>>>>>> objections about
>>>>>>> their mere existence.
>>>>>> Give it a try?
>>>>> OK for small, focused, components?
>>>> I am fine with Commons RNG and Commons Numbers.
>>>> I would feel uneasy with a significant number of mathematical 
>>>> components
>>>> extracted from [math] that are added to Commons, even if they are 
>>>> small
>>>> and focused. It would seem strange if you opened the Commons Web 
>>>> site
>>>> and about half of the components were math-related. If this is the 
>>>> goal,
>>>> I would prefer to start again the top-level-project discussion.
>>> Then let's continue with it unless we *have* a significant number 
>>> of
>>> components. If those attract in completion enough 
>>> contributors/committers,
>>> we can again try to form a TLP and donate all of them. IMHO the 
>>> creation of
>>> RNG and Numbers was healthy to our ecosystem, therefore I don't see 
>>> a reason
>>> to stop with the separation of more component out of Math now.
>> What a change from the generally overwhelmingly negative tone
>> of this ML! ;-)
>> Can we learn something from why it was so hard for long-time
>> developers to accept even non-destructive changes?
>> IOW, can we expand on what is "healthy to our ecosystem"?
>> Thank you,
>> Gilles
>>> Cheers,
>>> Jörg

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