Re: [eigen] random thoughts -- we need more Gaels

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On Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 8:01 PM, Benoit Jacob <jacob.benoit.1@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hi,
> this is just a braindump.
> *** releasing eigen 3 ***
> Getting back to it... I would like to have another beta in 3 weeks or
> so, then we see from there. Definitely release eigen3 final before the
> end of 2010.
> *** attracting more core contributors ***
> Obviously we've just had the least active month or two in recent Eigen
> history. While that can be attributed to the summer and the subsequent
> busy back-to-school time of the year, that isn't all. We need to
> organize to scale better, and to get more people to step up as more
> core contributors.
> Right now we have 2 really-really-core-contributors (Gael and me) and
> 3 other sometimes-core-contributors (Hauke, Jitse, Thomas); and
> perhaps 20 occasional contributors. We need to find a way to move
> people from "occasional" to "core".
> A single "core" contributor who spends like 30% of his active time on
> Eigen (which is realistic for e.g. a student; personnally I often
> spent 60% of my active time on Eigen in the past, which did eventually
> kill my math research, but also got me my current job), is worth
> dozens of minor contributors. So let's focus more on fidelizing
> contributors. We need more developer documentation, developer
> tutorials, and we could even have a series of articles going through
> expression templates and Eigen design, etc.
> *** scaling ***
> That's the other part of the story. Our mailing-list based
> organisation doesn't scale. We keep saying "see the discussion we had
> on this list 3 months ago..."  To synchronize the eigen3 process we
> used tables in wiki pages, which helped a lot. But the real solution
> would be to use a real issue tracker that handles dependency trees. So
> we could have a tracking bug "release eigen 3.1" depending on "make
> sure the SVD really rocks" depending on ... you see the picture.
> ---> Thomas, does Redmine have dependency trees ?  (i.e. an issue can
> depend on others, etc)

Bitbucket has an issue tracker. Does it not have dependency management?
> I would like us to move to such an issue tracker. It's working really
> well for Mozilla (which uses bugzilla, but I'm not sure i'd recommend
> it). Not everything works well in Mozilla but this does.
> *** API perfectionnism ***
> One thing that has slowed down the eigen3 release process is that we
> aimed at the most perfectly designed API ever. I think we've come an
> amazing way in this direction but now it's time to stop, release
> eigen3 as soon as possible, and accept that in eigen 3.1, 3.2... we
> will sometimes fix the API by marking existing methods as deprectated
> and providing alternatives with different names. Ugly, but every
> software project goes through that.
> Cheers,
> Benoit

Rohit Garg

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