Rebuilding the Community Behind VisPy's Fast, Interactive Visualizations
David Hoese (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
To attract new users and contributors to the VisPy project through software improvements, community outreach, and instructional materials.
An important part of any scientific research is visualizing the data being analyzed or presented. Modern scientific research now involves large multidimensional data sets that are not always easy to work with in traditional tools. The VisPy project was developed to provide high-level interfaces on top of low-level GPU concepts to easily create interactive visualizations of large and complex data sets. VisPy is an open source Python library built out of the collaboration between the visvis, galry, glumpy, and pyqtgraph projects. It quickly built an active community of developers and users, made multiple releases, and was well-received when presented at scientific conferences. However, after a couple years of heavy development, the maintainers of the VisPy project were unable to continue maintaining the library. A lack of maintainers didn’t stop VisPy’s community from using the package, submitting bug reports, and requesting features. After 2 years of no new releases, new maintainers volunteered to take over the project and brought it back to life. Although VisPy’s community has started to grow again, its number of maintainers has stayed the same and is still relatively low for how popular the package has been. With this proposal we hope to perform some much needed outreach to attract new users and, more importantly, new maintainers. We believe with a combination of outreach events, contributor guides, and software maintenance the VisPy project can gain support to meet the demands of its user community.