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From "Mark R. Diggory" <>
Subject Re: [all] Math needs a "user" email list.
Date Sat, 14 Aug 2004 02:41:10 GMT
Phil Steitz wrote:

> Stephen Colebourne wrote:
>> Related to this is that the developers and advisors will be drawn from a
>> different (less java/programmer centric position).
> I respectfully disagree here.  We do need some targeted help with 
> numerics, but what we really need is Java developers with math 
> proficiency and need (for math functionality).
I think java is easy to learn, numerics on the otherhand is a more 
difficult subject. Yes we need mathematicians with a knowledge of java, 
but I'd take algorithm advice from mathematician with no or little java 
experience over an experienced java programmer with little mathematical 

>> Secondly, there is no reason why [math] could not be implemented in 
>> C, C# or
>> another language as far as I can see. (There is no general rule here, 
>> [lang]
>> and [collections] are java focussed, but [codec] could be 
>> multi-language.
> I disagree.  I see [math] as very Java-focussed.  The whole point of 
> [math] is to provide ASF-licensed pure Java implementations of basic 
> math functionality.
Jakarta Commons Math (yes, very java focused), other languages could be 
part of a larger math TLP, but even if a math TLP formed, the commons 
math library would still exist and contain much of what it does already.

>> One option that could be considered in to use the package name
>> org.apache.math for your 1.0 release even if you are still hosted in
>> commons. It avoids problems later.
> I would prefer to keep commons in the package name.  Later, if we toss 
> out the current PROOPOSAL 
> ( and try to 
> become an "Apache math library" a new (multi-language) project could 
> be started in the incubator, using some commons-math components for 
> Java implementations.  Even then, I would see commons-math as a 
> valuable commons component.

I agree with Phil.

>> So, consider me -0 to a commons-math-user at the moment.
>> Stephen
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Mark R. Diggory" <>
>>> Do you get my argument though?
> I get the argument, but I disagree with it. As Brent points out below, 
> there are plenty of math forums out there for general discussion of 
> algorithms and other math topics. I see no reason for Apache to host 
> yet another one of these. 

Yet, they are way too obtuse for such discussion oriented around the 
Commons Math Library. Lets not get completely out of scope here, this is 
simply a list for Commons Math Users to discuss issues with the 
developers, a support and discussion list, again only because the other 
lists are too obtuse in the other direction (twards development).

> I don't know what you mean by "non-developer" users, since our users 
> are by definition Java developers. 

non-developers in that they are more focused in the area of mathematics 
and less in the are software development. I know allot of students, 
professors and scientists who work with java and would not classify 
themselves as "developers".

> Discussion here should focus on issues related to the [math] code 
> base.  From time to time, this discussion will naturally include some 
> math content.  Since we are trying to stick to established algorithms 
> and basic functionality, I would actually see it as a red flag if we 
> ventured off into extended mathematical discussions.

I somewhat agree, yet math discussions are where good ideas arise from.

> For the reasons that I mentioned above, I do not want [math] to be 
> split out from j-c. I will cut a RC for 1.0 this weekend and I would 
> prefer that we focus on getting the release out rather than how the 
> user list works at this time.
> Phil

100% agree with you on this one. Lets get that release out. :-)

Mark R. Diggory
Software Developer
Harvard MIT Data Center

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