NumFOCUS is pleased to announce recipients of the third and final round of small development grants for 2018. Eligibility for these grants is limited to our Sponsored and Affiliated Projects. This year, NumFOCUS distributed $60,000 in small developments grants to help our projects improve usability, grow their communities, and speed up the time to major releases. (Read about the first round and second round recipients.)

Your Support Makes a Difference

The NumFOCUS Small Development Grants program is made possible thanks to the generosity of our donors. You can support the ongoing development of the projects by becoming a Supporting or Sustaining Member of NumFOCUS.

Learn more about NumFOCUS membership here.

Community Education and Engagement

Open Journals: Open Journals website update
— $2,800

(NumFOCUS Sponsored Project)

The JOSS and JOSE websites were developed in a very short period about two years ago and are showing their age. There are a number of user-satisfaction challenges with the current website layouts including:

  • (Poor) responsiveness of website on smaller screen sizes
  • Lack of ability to search papers/filter content
  • General poor usability/UX challenges with content
  • Lack of a clear style guide for generating new content views

We would like to engage with an external contractor to redevelop the JOSS (and JOSE) websites, updating the views to be based on the modern Bootstrap 4 CSS framework and solving the challenges outlined above.

JOSS is now close to accepting its 400th submission. The work we want to get done here addresses many of the general grumbles that we hear from our users about the usability and features of the JOSS website.

This proposal is to redevelop the JOSS website views, cleaning up a bunch of old code, and giving us a good foundation for future growth.

Gensim: FastText tutorials
— $3,000

(NumFOCUS Affiliated Project)

FastText is one of the most popular machine learning algorithms for unsupervised text processing, originally released by Facebook as a successor to Word2Vec and used by thousands of companies world-wide.

Gensim contains the best implementation of FastText out there: super fast, flexible and 100% in Python / PyData ecosystem (got even faster this year, following our successful GSoC 2018 project). Other implementations (Java, C#, Spark) are orders of magnitude slower.

But the Gensim implementation has warts around the API, and people are regularly confused about its I/O (there exist multiple formats, by Facebook, native Gensim, text format…) and its use of out-of-vocab inputs. This project proposes an API cleanup and a new set of tutorials focused on FastText.

Lead Developer Gatherings

Conda-forge: conda-forge sprint at SciPy 2019 — $3,000

(NumFOCUS Sponsored Project)

conda-forge developers and maintainers are spread over around the globe, with members from Australia, Brazil, UK, and the various states in the USA. That makes it quite difficulty to have a face-to-face meetings. The SciPy conference is one exception because most of the members can make it to the conference every year.

This proposal goal would be to help members who never attended SciPy or are having difficulty gathering funds to attend, to go and sprint with the other core maintainers that will be present. There are a number of issues that could benefit from a live code sprint like:

  • improving recipe re-generation automation
  • creating an easy users interface to browse/query the graph metadata
  • plan the next compiler migration (gcc7 to gcc8)

The community will benefit from faster and more stable package releases. conda-forge, like any other OSS project, suffers from a sluggish development pace due to the short time the volunteers developers have to dedicate to the project, short sprints at conferences can remedy that and boost the project development “months ahead” in a just a few days.