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From Phil Steitz <>
Subject Re: [all] Math needs a "user" & a "dev" email list.
Date Sat, 14 Aug 2004 23:54:04 GMT
Kim van der Linde wrote:
> Hi Mark,
> I agree with you. And I have played advocate of the
> devil here, as I noticed from the beginning on that
> this is a hard-core developers environment. But in
> daily life, I work in an environment were people are
> the real users of the products that are developed
> here. They are not programmers by nature, they are not
> involved in area's of science that includes mandatory
> programming skills like astronomy. 

If they are using commons components, they are by definition java developers.

For the people
> around me, programming is a TOOL, a tool to do comples
> mathematical stuff that they otherwise could not do.
> When it becomes to complex, they come to me. When I
> put people like them on a track of an e-mail group
> like this, they quit within days. And that is not
> because they are incapable to understand it.
> Just to highlight this, and example that I encountered
> myself. Untill now, I have done a lot of programming
> of statistics, and the like, and I do statistics all
> the time. But untill now, I never encountered the idea
> of 'moments'. Maybe wierd, but still true.

Moments are used in [math] mainly as a tool to compute more commonly used 
statistics.  In fact, our "moments" are not really moments in the normal 
definition (as explained in the javadoc).

  I neither
> had it at highschool, nor at the university at any
> time. Maybe it is a wierd thing related to the Dutch
> school system. But I think it is exemplatory for how a
> lot of open source projects fail to recognize that the
> main user group are not the hard-core developers they
> are themselves. (And I am much more a hard-core
> programmer than a lot of collegues that might benefit
> from a package like commons-math(s)). 

Well, once again, the users of [math] and any other Jakarta Commons 
components must be Java developers. It is our job, as API designers and 
documentation developers to make it as easy as possible for them; but we 
are not developing end user products here.  Any specific comments that you 
have on the useability of the [math] API or the quality of the javadoc and 
User Guide would be much appreciated.

> Cheers,
> Kim
> --- "Mark R. Diggory" <>
> wrote:
>>Again, an excellent example of my point, this is not
>>very civil from a "User Support" standpoint and 
>>attitude such as this will only drive users away. 
>>Unfortunately, most of us developers are very stoic 
>>and abrupt, something that ultimately undermines any
>>interaction with users who are not fellow developers
>>at heart.
>>Michael McGrady wrote:
>>>You have the knowledge to configure your email
>>>client to get what you like.  Why should everyone 
>>>cater to your predilictions?
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