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From Sheng Zha <>
Subject Re: Call for Ideas and Approaches to Community Building
Date Thu, 07 Mar 2019 07:23:34 GMT
First, I echo a lot with Steffen’s points on educating users on the usage of MXNet and DL,
and my team at my day job takes it as its mission. Just to name a few related efforts:
(a whole book on deep learning with mxnet), the numerous tutorials in GluonCV, GluonNLP, DGL
toolkits, the public course on introduction to deep learning at UC Berkeley by Mu Li and Alex

Recognizing non-code contribution has also been one of the recent focus of the PPMC. In fact,
Aston Zhang, who made significant contribution to the community by looking after the user
forum and writing the d2l book, has just joined us as a committer of our community. Kuo Ding,
also known as chinakook, the maintainer of the Awesome-MXNet list and advocate of MXNet in
various social media, has also just accepted our invite to become a committer. PPMC will definitely
be on the watch for more.

In addition, as PPMC member, I’m also interested in other ways to help technical contributors
to become familiar with the code base. I hope to grow the pool of competencies in the committer
group in various areas, by helping interested community members. A larger pool of competencies
makes better experience for all contributors in the form of meaningful technical feedbacks
and code reviews. In my case, I spend half of my time on Github reviewing code, and also participating
in a wide range of design reviews. I’ve been encouraging my committer peers to do the same.
From the perspective of an experienced committer, I think growth in the pool of technical
competencies is sorely needed, and I’m definitely interested in manageable ways to reach
more people and help those with the drive to grow with the community.

Towards meet-ups and hangouts, I have mixed feeling. On one hand, meeting other MXNetters
is exciting and I’d definitely like to indulge. On the other hand, meet-ups tend to make
it impossible, or at least time-consuming for people who didn’t attend to digest. By spending
the same time on carefully writing answers to issues, I could easily have helped 10x more
people across space and time. Meet-ups also encourage off-list decision-making which is a
bit concerning to me too. These are my personal takes and I thought I should be candid about
this so that people who do attend can be more conscious about taking the conversations back
to the list.

In terms of nomination outside one’s own organization, my impression is that this comes
from the desire of growing the diversity in the community, specifically in terms of the day
job. So the “organization” refers specifically to day job employer. From my perspective,
I think all nomination should be encouraged, and the day job of a community member doesn’t
affect the merit one has earned. That said, given that we strive to grow an open and transparent
community, a community member whose impact is limited only to one’s day job is a red flag.
The failure to leave any impression outside of the same organization is likely a symptom of
relying too much on private-channel communication or making decision outside the community.
If such case arises, I think PPMC members can be trusted to recognize it as a problem.


> On Mar 6, 2019, at 10:03 PM, Steffen Rochel <> wrote:
> Thanks Carin to start the discussion on this important topic.
> My suggestions:
> 1) get more involved educating the public about MXNet and how to use for
> DL. Carin's Can You GAN? <> is a
> great example and there are many others. Meetups are another good way (DL
> with MXNet <>
> has now 10 local chapters with 1842 members in 8 countries, but there are
> still a lot of "white" areas). Recognize contributors like Cosmin
> <> and Lai
> <>
> .
> 2) Recognize non-code contributors like all the people answering questions
> at the various discussion forums.
> 3) invite people to contribute - github repo has zero issues labelled "Help
> Wanted", 21 out of 993 open issues are labelled as "Good First Issues".
> Recognize people who go through the effort of classification of issues and
> mentor the new contributors
> 4) talk to the "drive by contributors" i.e. people who contribute once and
> then disappear. What is preventing them to contribute more then once?
> 5) be more active communicating and cross-promoting events related to MXNet
> through announcements on dev@, discussion forum and re-tweets.
> I agree with Tianqi on "One approach toward building a more diverse
> community is to acknowledge the fact that we want to encourage interactions
> in the Apache way beyond our physical cycle." However, I disagree with his
> suggestion regarding "One principle to toward that is to encourage PMC
> members only nominate committers from other organizations" for the
> following reasons:
> 1. We had a long discussion about becoming committer and PPMC member and
> voted about it in Oct/Nov 2018 - please see Wiki
> <>.
> This document (adopted by MXNet PPMC) calls out for PMC members to strive
> to "mentor contributors to become eligible for consideration as
> committer/PMC member". If somebody is making the effort to mentor a person
> from any organization, then he should also have the right to propose such
> contributor. This document, which was adopted just 5 month ago didn't
> include the policy Tianqi proposed. Has something changed to substantiate
> reopening the discussion? Every PMC member should support the community
> development and have the right to propose any active contributor based on
> merit as committer or PMC member.
> 2. It will be very difficult to define "other organizations". E.g. (1) Steven
> Turner
> <>
> is
> actively promoting MXNet by organizing meetup in London and in his day job
> works for AWS. (2) I recently moved from Amazon AI to Amazon Redshift and
> as such have no involvement with MXNet as part of my day job, but I'm still
> with Amazon. Are such situations considered being part of the same
> organization or not? Does any non-Amazon PPMC member even know about the
> contributions Steven (and other meetup and conference contributors) are
> making?
> 3. MXNet has a number of active, multi-year code and non-code contributors
> which are still not recognized as committer or PMC members. The PMC should
> not make it harder to recognize such contributions with arbitrary rules and
> rather actively mentoring such contributors to grow the community.
> Best,
> Steffen
> On Wed, Mar 6, 2019 at 12:11 PM Isabel Drost-Fromm <>
> wrote:
>> Am 6. März 2019 18:36:36 MEZ schrieb Aaron Markham <
>>> Having more creatives in the open source community, not just MXNet,
>>> would
>>> be great for diversity.
>> .oO(And something that would be appreciated even at the foundation
>> level...)
>> Is there anything else that people can think of where help might be
>> needed? Anything else where getting involved or following the project could
>> be made easier?
>> Isabel (who seriously hates auto correct on Android, see "corrections" in
>> my last mail, sorry for those misspellings)
>> --
>> Diese Nachricht wurde von meinem Android-Gerät mit K-9 Mail gesendet.

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