Join the NiPreps Community ¶
One of the pillars of fMRIPrep , the seed project for NiPreps , has been nurturing an open-source community. Building Welcoming Communities is crucial for open-source software because of several reasons:
Engaging users and contributors (in a very liberal sense, not just with code) helps establish a development road-map:
- In the case of fMRIPrep , many users have reported bugs via our issue tracker and Neurostars.org . Even though testing is one of the primary focuses for fMRIPrep , without these bug-report contributions the tool would have never reached the dependability level it requires to serve its purpose.
- Users identify and propose new features, often illuminating shady areas the most involved developers did not find time or the right context to explore.
The community exposes the software and also increases the externality of the software. The neuroimaging discussion supported by Neurostars.org has been a key factor for the adoption of fMRIPrep .
Users always give back, and it is not uncommon to see elaborate responses to bug-reports and questions about fMRIPrep on Neurostars.org by users who had similar questions previously.
Because of the scientific purpose of NiPreps , there is one more fundamental reason to grow a (scientific) community around the tools: rigor/scrutiny . As one reviews a few of the most discussed pull-requests to fMRIPrep , very soon they realize that we don't just need to get the code right. We strive for integrating high-quality code, but even more importantly, that code must get the scientific method it implements right. This is particularly difficult because in most of the cases there aren't test oracles (in software engineering terms) or gold-standards (in scientific terms) to efficiently evaluate the validity of new features (even to exercise a minuscule area of the domain of inputs). The redundancy of expert eyes looking at our code has only helped make it better.