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It was decided at the Board Meeting on to create a poll and send it to the FORUM to get feedback on the following issues:

  1. HDF5 Strengths and Weaknesses
  2. Community contributions

The HDF Group uses https://www.surveymonkey.com/ to create polls. Those look very nice, allow automatic gathering of statistics, etc.

Each survey starts with a preamble that explains the purpose of the survey followed by the questions. Below is preamble and suggested questions for the poll. Please review and suggest additions and/or modifications.

The HDF Group (THG)  created HDF5 Technical Advisory Board whose purpose is to advise The HDF Group technical leadership on the HDF5 roadmap and to help The HDF Group company to build HDF5 community capable of sustaining Open Source HDF5 software in the future.  Could you please take a few minutes and answer the following questions to help the Board with prioritization of the focus areas?

  1. What is the biggest weakness of HDF5? (Text box)
  2. What is the biggest strength of HDF5? (Text box)
  3. Are you planning to contribute to the HDF5 source? (Yes/No)
  4. Describe a potential contribution (If Yes to previous question, then there will be a text box to fill)
  5. What is the biggest obstacle for contributing to  HDF5 source?  (Text box)
  6. May we contact you to discuss the answers? (Yes/ No, if Yes there is a text box to provide email).

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Minor copy edits for the intro paragraph:

    "The HDF Group (THG) created the HDF5 Technical Advisory Board, whose purpose is to advise The HDF Group with technical leadership on a HDF5 roadmap and to help The HDF Group build an open source community around sustaining HDF5 software in the future.  Could you please take a few minutes and answer the following questions to help the Board with prioritization of focus areas?"

     

    I would tend to lead off with the strengths rather than the weaknesses question, but that's pretty minor.

     

    I might also rephrase question 3 as "Are you interested in contributing to the HDF5 source?"

     

  2. Thank you! SurveyMonkey has this edited version:

    The HDF Group created the HDF5 Technical Advisory Board whose purpose is to advise The HDF Group technical leadership on the HDF5 roadmap and to help The HDF Group build a HDF5 community capable of sustaining Open Source HDF5 software in the future. Could you please take a few minutes and answer the following questions to help the Board with prioritization of the focus areas?

  3. Adding Mark's comments for the record:

    I think the proposed questions are a good start. But, lets quickly ask ourselves what "data" we hope to tease out of users from these questions?

    I for one, am interested in the impressions among those who use HDF5 in some way, what might be the biggest hurdles to fostering wide-spread community development of HDF5? That is because I think we have an interest in seeing HDF5 "take off" as an open source code base.

    But, I wonder if we have other goals with this survey and whether it makes sense to combine them so that we "pester" users only once (at least for the next year) to spend their time answering some survey questions. Do other projects do similar surveys? If so, it might make sense to borrow/steal from questions they ask in their surveys. As to the specific proposed questions...

    I might re-phrase strengths and weaknesses questions a bit...

    Describe any ways have you used HDF5 and been satisfied with the results?

    Describe any ways have you tried to use HDF5 and been unsatisfied?

    If you switched to an alternative, what did you use and why was it more satisfactory?

    The reason I like the questions phrased this way is that they focus more on people's actual experiences in using the library. I mean, when I am asked about HDF5 strengths...I will provide a different answer then when I am asked about best/worst experiences using it. I am aware of many more of its strengths that I have not actually used to any significant degree myself ;)

    Instead of asking users if they are "planning" on contributing, I think it might make sense to ask...Have you ever tried to contribute to HDF5 development? If so, what form of contribution did it take...a) bug-fix/patch, b) small feature enhancement, c)... If not, why not? Or, what challenges are you aware of in trying to contribute to HDF5 in the past?