SciPy wants your thoughts on its technical documentation and user guides
You’ve heard of SciPy.
You’ve probably used it.
You might have even looked through some of the technical documentation and user guides. You might even have an opinion of the documentation…
But have you given any thought to getting involved with SciPy and letting them know how they can improve their documentation? Telling SciPy what you like and what you don’t like or how you think the documentation can be improved?
Now’s your chance!
What is SciPy?
It’s scientific (Sci) Python (Py)! SciPy is a free and open-source Python library. It’s used for scientific computing and technical computing. It contains modules for optimization, linear algebra, integration, interpolation, special functions, FFT, signal and image processing, ODE solvers and other tasks common in science and engineering.
SciPy uses NumPy arrays as the basic data structure. It has modules for various commonly used tasks in scientific programming. These tasks include integration (calculus), ordinary differential equation solving, and signal processing.SciPy builds on the NumPy array object. It’s part of the NumPy stack. The stack includes tools like Matplotlib, Pandas, and SymPy, and an expanding set of scientific computing libraries.
How can you get involved?
While I’m over at NumPy working on creating a section in the technical documentation aimed at beginners, Maja Gwozdz is hard at work in the SciPy docs. She’s combing through the SciPy documentation to create something that’s even more helpful for you. She’s reaching out the whole community (that’s you!) to find out what you like and don’t like, and she would love your input!
As Maja wrote in her proposal for Google Season of Docs:
“I intend to work on the refactoring of the existing documentation so that it would be easily accessible by users with different needs. It goes without saying that a researcher is most likely interested in advanced and subtle features, whereas a user without prior expertise appreciates step-by-step guides and diagrams.
I am interested in pursuing this project for personal and professional reasons: first of all, I would like to contribute significantly to SciPy because my own research has greatly benefited from it and secondly, I encounter insufficient (or lacking) documentation all too often in other software and always wonder how much faster (if it all!) users could learn how to use the code had they been provided with a thorough guide.”
Maja put together a survey for everyone in the community who wants to be heard. This is an amazing opportunity to raise your hand and get involved. You can find the survey here and it’s designed to let you give as much of your time and input as you feel like giving.
The questions are very straightforward and most of them have simple multiple-choice answers. You’ll answer questions like, “What parts of the documentation do you use?” and “Which of the documentation features should be improved/added?” Below the multiple-choice questions, you can add your own comments and suggestions.
It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s incredibly helpful. If you’ve used SciPy and the SciPy documentation, Maja would love to hear from you. It is time to get involved with SciPy.