[Live-demo] OSGeoLive 9.5 status: pre-RC - Jupyter Notebooks

Angelos Tzotsos gcpp.kalxas at gmail.com
Mon Mar 7 17:15:45 PST 2016


This discussion is not only related to the work made by Massimo and 
other contributors, but has further implications on how we include new 
projects in OSGeoLive:

So far, Jupyter has been included in the development builds as a natural 
evolution of the IPython project (which was also recently included in 
OSGeoLive), so Jupyter never followed the path to be officially included 
[1]. As we speak (far past the feature freeze date) only the overview 
doc is committed so one could argue in favor of dropping Jupyter from 
this release completely...

Furthermore, as part of the Jupyter setup, a big number [2] [3] of 
Python projects/libraries were also added to OSGeoLive, as soft 
dependencies to support Notebooks, without official review or decision 
by the community, just by following volunteers' vision of what 
functionality should be demonstrated by the Notebooks. Part of this 
vision was to keep OSGeoLive relevant in terms of tools and trends in 
the open source geospatial world.

Now the proposal is to select a subset of Notebooks to present to the 
community in order to get feedback and build a notebook community to 
support further adoption. A natural follow-up question is: should we 
also select which supporting projects will be included? If we drop some 
of the Notebooks, their dependencies should also be dropped, right?

So how do we decide which notebooks/supporting libraries to keep? And 
how do we do that without being disrespectful to all volunteers who 
contributed their time to maintain the Jupyter/Python stack for some 
months now (including hacking notebooks, creating debian packages, 
mentoring or participating in the GSoC project)?

Here is my proposal:
1. Massimo and Brian are named official maintainers of Jupyter, as the 
only actual contributors of Notebooks [4]
2. Jupyter maintainers have to provide all the needed documentation 
(overview and quickstart) ASAP, else Jupyter is dropped from 9.5
3. Jupyter maintainers get to decide which Notebooks to include in the 
final iso.
4. If they disagree, the community votes weather to include all 
notebooks OR drop Jupyter from 9.5 release and re-evaluate for 10.0


[4] https://github.com/OSGeo/OSGeoLive-Notebooks/graphs/contributors

On 03/08/2016 12:17 AM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
> Hi all,
> I should clarify my statement below, (as has been to me off list), as 
> it might appear that I'm implying a lack of future, or quality of 
> notebooks.
> My comments below relate to level of external testing and size of 
> community who have reviewed Massimo's notebooks.
> I think that Massimo has done an excellent job pioneering notebooks 
> within the OSGeo-Live framework, and these notebooks provide a great 
> platform from which to demonstrate OSGeo functionality.
> I think our next step is to work toward bringing a groundswell of 
> community behind the development of these notebooks.
> My suggested approach differs a little with that proposed by Massimo, 
> although I think we are aiming toward the same long term goal (of wide 
> adoption and community maintenance of Notebooks within the OSGeo-Live 
> framework).
> I'm proposing that we release just a few of the Notebooks first, seek 
> community feedback on this small subset, adapt if required. But most 
> importantly build an OSGeo-Live notebook community and buy in before 
> going too wide.
> This question is still unresolved within the core OSGeo-Live team, and 
> we need to make a decision fast, as our Release Candidate is due next 
> Monday 14 March. Opinions from our OSGeo-Live community would be 
> greatly appreciated so we can make a wise decision moving forward.
> Warm regards, Cameron
> On 7/03/2016 10:54 pm, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>> Angelos, all,
>> I concerned about how much new material we are attempting add related 
>> to Jupyter notebooks, all at the last moment.
>> With OSGeo-Live, we have built our reputation around quality and 
>> stability, and I think we should be careful not to compromise that. 
>> We will attract more users to Jupyter notebooks if they try one 
>> excellent notebook, and look elsewhere for more, than if they try 10 
>> notebooks which almost work.
>> So before adding a new Notebook, I suggest that it should be tested 
>> start to finish, and then thoroughly reviewed  by the author, and 
>> then at least one other person, preferably 2.
>> Am I right in understanding that we are currently proposing to add ~ 
>> 30 new notebooks? I'd be inclined to pick out 2 to 5 of these and 
>> focus on getting just these working.
>> (The remainder can be included on OSGeo-Live for testing and 
>> workshops, just ensure that you can only find it if provided with the 
>> correct URL)
>> That said, who do we have available to help test notebooks? If you 
>> can help out, please reply to this email, volunteering your services.
>> On 7/03/2016 10:34 pm, Angelos Tzotsos wrote:
>>> 2. Jupyter Notebooks: We currently have a git repository with 
>>> notebooks to include in the final release and we also have an open 
>>> pull request to merge the work from GSoC 2015 [5].
>>> There is a special nightly build [6][7] including the GSoC notebooks.
>>> We need to evaluate all our notebooks for this release and make a 
>>> decision on the notebooks to be included.
>>> Perhaps we need a team of volunteers to go through all notebooks and 
>>> review them? Perhaps we need a spreadsheet listing all notebooks and 
>>> their status? Thoughts? 

Angelos Tzotsos, PhD
OSGeo Charter Member

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