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From Anand Avati <>
Subject Re: Straw poll re: H2O ?
Date Mon, 28 Apr 2014 17:42:02 GMT
On Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 2:18 AM, Sean Owen <> wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 3:39 AM, Dmitriy Lyubimov (JIRA)
> <> wrote:
> > bq. The emotional tenor of Dmitriy Lyubimov's comments are exactly what
> is encouraging the h2o work to be done a bit apart. It simply isn't
> efficient to have to answer so many off-topic points whenever any reports
> on work in progress are given.
> >
> > I think this has been the off-topic here.
> >
> > Calling my comments "emotional" or "non-technical", or _loosely_
> paraphrasing me.
> Yes, the personal finger-pointing parts don't belong and don't
> convince anyone, let's skip those.

+1. Let's skip those.

>From the sidelines, I see a bunch of work intended for Mahout
> proceeding outside the community such as it is, and even Apache. Of
> course, contributions are always prepped externally to some degree. I
> create, debug, change patches before posting them, maybe checking in
> early on choices that others may want input on.
> This is a large-ish change being proposed, IIUC. I can see one person
> who publicly, and at least two who privately, have clear reservations
> about this direction.

It will probably be a large-ish change, indeed. But my personal take is
that, non-technical aspects of the debate is unfortunately taking
precedence over real technical parts. Please refer to email thread "Mahout
DSL vs Spark".

> It certainly appears funny vis-a-vis the "Apache
> way" to work on a contribution *because* one (or more) other
> committers aren't convinced.

As mentioned in the referred email thread, a lot of the technical issues
which got addressed in the work which was carried out outside of Apache,
was really sorting out and highlighting build and classloader related
challenges on the H2O side. There was little motivation to carry out those
discussions on the Mahout lists as it was really ~99% H2O specific
discussions and noise/spam to the Mahout community.

I don't think that's important to dither about. What is, is this: if a
> big-bang patch landed tomorrow, I wonder if it would pass a VOTE?
> Nobody can pre-judge his/her opinion on a proposal that's not tabled
> yet, but it seems like a quite possible outcome.

As an outsider, my opinion is that the proposed need for a VOTE is a
largely masqueraded problem built around the perception of disagreement
over something vague, abstract and inaccurate. And therefore premature.
That being said the PMC may vote on any issues/non-issues it may please.

Would be a shame to do a lot of work, intending it for a commit, and
> then find there is not consensus.

Exactly the kind of inaccurate perception I meant. While we are (at least I
am) exploring the best fit model for integration, and exploration by
definition involves taking potentially wrong steps and backtracking if
necessary, the perception unfortunately seems to be that the proposed
intermediate (potentially wrong) steps are some kind of pre-decided plan of
action. So, no, there WOULDN'T be a lot of work intended for a commit
against consensus.

So is it better to figure out earlier than later whether these 2+
> parallel tracks have enough commonality to coexist?

Whether two parallel tracks (I assume the spark track and the H2O track?)
have enough commonality to exist - one way you surely cannot get the right
answer for this (except by co-incidence) is by taking a vote from a group
who are experts in only either one of those tracks. From what I see, most
of the opposition has been due to a combination of lack of understanding of
H2O and (welcome) skepticism. If, as a contributor, I find there is no
natural or beneficial way to co-exist with Spark, I wouldn't waste my time
writing code, and for sure am not dependent on another group's vote to make
that decision for me.


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