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From Madison Myers <>
Subject Re: Building a community around SystemML
Date Thu, 29 Sep 2016 01:06:25 GMT
Thanks for opening up this dialogue Felix & Luciano!

It only just came to my attention that discussions about the website and
reaching out to the community were taking place here, so apologies for not
chiming in earlier. I have a few comments on the website and on the topic
of community outreach:

I have actually been actively working with the design team to try and
reorganize the content and documentation for the Apache SystemML website
since first initiating the website renewal. Since the first phase of the
website has completed, we have prioritized reorganization and proper
documentation. To further this aim, I am also rewriting tutorials so that
they can be better understood by new users and will include my 10+ blogs
that I have written on the website for SystemML. We also
definitely want to have a link to those videos- so thanks so much for
attaching them, Niketan! If you all have any other ideas or have written
tutorials/blogs/etc. on SystemML please let me know or send them my way.

Additionally, Luciano mentioned that he was trying to find two key personas
for the SystemML website. Looking at the results from the SystemML survey I
sent out a few weeks ago, it is clear that an overwhelming majority of
people voted for Data Scientist- new and Data Scientist- advanced. Input on
if you agree on these results would be helpful.

As for reaching out to the community, this is an aspect I am actively
trying to work on. Mike and I will be speaking at UC Berkeley about our
SystemML use case, and I have also been trying to promote it on social
media. I think clearer documentation will greatly help new users adopt
SystemML, so I am in full support of that focus! If you all have other
ideas or see room for improvement in this domain, please let me know if I
can help.

Thanks again!

On Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 5:16 PM, Niketan Pansare <> wrote:

> Thanks Luciano and Felix for starting this discussion.
> +1 for versioned documentation.
> Regarding understanding the SystemML internals, following things would
> help:
> 1. I believe we have done a good job to separate the components into
> different package as well as modularize the compilation process in separate
> layers. Though the components/layers are well-explained in our papers, it
> might be a good idea to create design document as suggested by Felix. This
> design document should explain different component and also the interface.
> May be putting the design into javadoc with links/references and then
> hosting the docs might be a good idea too. This will help in reviewing the
> PR itself as the code and docs are in the same file.
> 2. We can showcase following videos on
> incubator-systemml/contributing-to-systemml:
> - SystemML classes (example:
> - Meetups (
> list=PL9U7gw7DOIGiT4yi2uw_Mk3TbBEDc_qKq and
> v=hJfubEYDiQ8 and
> - Code walkthrough videos (example:
> v=2dnIKY1iVCI and ... very
> old videos ... would recommend creating new ones instead).
> - Demos.
> Thanks,
> Niketan Pansare
> IBM Almaden Research Center
> E-mail: npansar At
> [image: Inactive hide details for fschueler---09/28/2016 03:50:48 PM---I
> think those are excellent ideas! Especially the point about c]fschueler---09/28/2016
> 03:50:48 PM---I think those are excellent ideas! Especially the point about
> communicating on the mailing-list.
> From:
> To:
> Date: 09/28/2016 03:50 PM
> Subject: Re: Building a community around SystemML
> ------------------------------
> I think those are excellent ideas! Especially the point about
> communicating on the mailing-list.
> Google summer of code is a great way of getting people involved with the
> project long-term and we should think about possible projects.
> Application for mentoring organizations usually starts in February. I
> would be open to help planning this.
> For the personas and documentation I agree. Good documentation should be
> a priority and something like a "Quickstart" should be the first goto
> for many people that want to try SystemML. Apart from that, the current
> documentation is in a somewhat unstable state since it mixes
> documentation for different releases, APIs, languages, etc.
> Maybe we could aim for a versioned documentation that is part of a
> release and can be easily related to the corresponding release. It
> should be easy for users to find the docs that correspond to the version
> of SystemML that they're using (similar to Spark's documentation link on
> Making documentation part of a PR that affects user
> APIs might be a good idea.
> Regarding the Jiras, I think it's important to include enough
> information in their description. Similarly, it might be helpful for new
> contributors to have an overview of SystemML internals that don't
> require them to read all related papers. When we investigated SystemML
> internals for the Flink and DSL implementation, it took us a long time
> to understand the places in the code that we had to touch before we
> could get started. In the course of this I started writing down a few
> things in a google doc
> (
> 8ZskN3PiZgjKVE/edit#heading=h.q6w9j5yjre8y).
> It might make sense to extend that to give users a high-level but
> detailed enough overview of SystemML that lets them understand what the
> components are and how they interact. This might help people to figure
> out what they would want to work on, too.
> Felix
> Am 28.09.2016 21:32 schrieb Luciano Resende:
> > One of the remaining things that SystemML needs to do in order to
> > graduate
> > is to build a better community around the project.
> >
> > Some ideas are:
> >
> > - Be more open with mailing lists discussions particularly with high
> > level
> > designs that sometimes just get buried in PRs.
> > - Identify and participate on projects where more experienced community
> > members would mentor students or others interested in
> > participating/contributing to the project (e.g. GSoC)
> > - Identify top two main personas that would be interested in the
> > project,
> > and bring up visibility on documentation based on these personas to
> > make
> > their first experience with the project very smooth and without much
> > problems.
> > - Create simple JIRAs and flag them for initial contributors (e.g.
> > documentation, simple fix, etc)
> >
> > Any other ideas ? And how do we execute this with some priority to get
> > us
> > to graduate ?

*Madison J. Myers*
*UC Berkeley, Master of Information & Data Science '17*

*King's College London, MA Political Science '14*
*New York University, BA Political Science '12*

      LinkedIn <>

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