Steering Council nomination: Travis Oliphant


(Raymond Hettinger) #1

I nominate Travis Oliphant. He brings proven management skills (CEO of Anaconda f.k.a. Continuum Analytics), proven product management skills (Numpy, Anaconda, Bokeh, Dask, …), and proven community leadership skills (organizer of PyData and former PSF board member).

He has participated in the Python community for a long time and is well respected. He knows most of the principal committers. He is well qualified to address some of the more thorny issues that will face the steering committee (sub-interpreters, redesigning the C API, developing a solution for mobile, etc). He has deep connections to a broad base of end-users and can effectively represent the needs of our ever-growing user base.

(Christian Heimes) #2

+1 I also contacted and asked him about council membership.

Travis is a Python core developer and author of three PEPs. Carl Bank and Travis designed the new memory buffer API. Travis did most of the implementation work, too.

(Antoine Pitrou) #3

Not really true. It was done by @skrah primarily and I secondarily (by which I mean I completed a first implementation that was then deeply reworked and expanded by Stefan).

PS : it’s PEP 3118.

(Travis E Oliphant) #4

I appreciate both the nomination and the entire process that has been evolving. I am willing to serve now and in the future if I can be of help, though there are many qualified candidates and would be happy with their election as well.

What I would bring is a long history of experience with the Python language and many core committers. My involvement with Python started in 1998 and has primarily been through the NumPy library and ecosystem. I began the SciPy project in 1998 and joined Numeric and Numarray into NumPy in 2005. I am quite familiar with the core Python language having been a core committer to Python in the past (PEP 3181 and PEP 357). I have not been directly active on the core language for several years as I have been pursuing the organizing and running of businesses (Enthought, Continuum Analytics/Anaconda, Quansight) and non-profits (NumFOCUS, PyData) to help improve sustainability of open-source.

You can learn something about my perspective and history by reviewing the talks I have given that are recorded on-line. In particular, the talk I gave at PyData DC last November gives an overview of my perspective on open-source sustainability (though I was losing my voice that day):

I do think as Guido is willing to serve on the committee that he should be elected to one of the positions and appreciate his leadership in helping the Python community to make the transition to the current governance model which I fully support.

I have long been a fan of the core Python team and the way the core members have propagated a fundamental value that Python raises computer literacy which leads to distributed competence. Good ideas have long been respected, while also growing a diverse and accepting community of contributors. My fundamental value is helping people achieve their potential. Python can continue to help millions do that and it is an honor to help it reach that potential. I am driven by a strong desire to continue to contribute to the community which has been the center of my professional life while helping others to develop their skills and become major contributors.

I fundamentally believe the Steering Council should act rarely and only to “unstick” the community, help ensure all voices are heard, and facilitate progress when consensus is not forthcoming. It should always act only to protect the interests of the organic and diverse community that I believe it represents.

When it is not acting in an official capacity, I believe the Steering Council can and should have a strong positive impact on the visibility and viability of Python in the wider ecosystem. It should work to develop a strong relationship with 1) the PSF, 2) the wider Python ecosystem, 3) the core developers, 4) related non-profit organizations and 5) industry leaders.

I love the Python language, and I love the people who have come into the community and turned it in to one of the shining examples of human cooperation on the planet. It’s a phenomena that we can all be proud of.

(Travis E Oliphant) #5

I produced a first minimal implementation of the buffer protocol such that it worked for NumPy. I did not really flesh out the memoryview, however, as it was not that useful to someone who already had NumPy installed, and I had left academia and was working in industry with no funding for open-source contribution. Thankfully, Antoine, and then Stefan, completed the memoryview implementation and shored-up the buffer-protocol implementation.