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From "Mark R. Diggory" <>
Subject Re: [math] financial functions?
Date Tue, 10 Jun 2003 21:36:18 GMT
I 100% agree, I think we should keep such functionality in separate 
modular packages. This is why I think even static access to stats 
functions should not be in MathUtils specifically. Keep each set of 
functionality as separate as possible from an implementation stand 
point. There may come a day in the future when math become more 
modularized and encompass greater functionality, it would be an ugly day 
if there was too much spaghetti code present in the implementation.


Tim O'Brien wrote:
> +1 on the idea of having these classes available for use, +1 on
> *temporarily* adding this to commons-math, but -1 to adding them to
> MathUtils (this code should be stored in a separate contrib source
> tree).  Basic Financial utilities would add desired functionality, but
> in the "long term" - specific areas of application should not be a part
> of commons-math.  I'm not saying this will never be the case, read on...
> Alternatively, application areas should be separate modules entirely
> (right now, within a separate contrib directory) - we don't want to
> create a monolithic collection of code (or a monolithic community of
> developers), but in the short-term I can see that adding these limited
> utilities would encourage active community participation.  In other
> words, +1 for this if and only if we promise to keep these things
> limited to very simple applications/algorithms.  
> I'd rather not see us start to get into too much specialization (not
> that I'm not interested) - IMO commons-math is similar to
> commons-digester.  Commons Digester provides a basic mechanism for
> executing a set of rules, these rules are triggered by the structure of
> an XML file.  Because commons-digester remains focused on a very limited
> set of goals, it is a utility which can be used for a wide range of
> applications - from marshalling/unmarshalling to/from XML, to a basic
> MathML engine, One could even write some sort of programming language
> using Digester.....  The point is that Digester is a very generic piece
> of code.   Likewise with the Linux kernel.  Strength through simplicity.
> We should define the limits of the project and resist the urge to exceed
> those boundaries.  This will lead to more nimble and focused
> communities, and it will reduce risk.  I've been following the
> discussions surrounding the Struts 1.1 RC2 release, and I think that it
> might be wise to draw bold boundaries around a project.  Commons-math is
> X, and if anything falls outside of X we can add it as a contrib, but I
> don't want to open up a Pandora's Box on a sandbox component that hasn't
> made it through the promotion process yet.   Also, if a package in
> contrib isn't passing 100% of the tests, it isn't a blocker for a
> release, AND we could distribute those classes separately (think ant.jar
> and optional.jar in Apache Ant).
> If someone starts offering Apache utilities for Financial calculations,
> then why not start adding code for:  Radioactive Decay, Monte Carlo
> simulations, Utilities for the calculation of gambling odds, Circuit
> simulation, Aerodynamics, Optimization algorithms for the layout of a
> Printed Circuit Board, Quantum Physics, Calculations performed in
> Maritime Navigation, etc....
> The goal is to release a simple, focused commons-math - get something
> through promotion, and either at promotion time or afterwards a
> conversation should be started about future direction.  I think we've
> got a good amount of community-building to get through first.   Add the
> code to a "contrib" source tree. 

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