Since the launch of OpenMDAO V2, we’ve seen a significant increase in the size and breath of the framework’s user base. To date, OpenMDAO’s development has been guided almost exclusively by the needs of the NASA projects that are using it and paying for its ongoing development. Fundamentally, that is going to change, however we recognize that our user based adds a significant amount of value to the project and that we need to address your needs as well. Therefore, we are going to be more formal and open about our development plans for your benefit.
What does that mean exactly? For starters, we are going to publish an annual development roadmap. This document, while not all encompassing or strictly binding, is intended to give the community a clear view of what the development team will focus on in the short and mid-term.
The initial version of the OpenMDAO 2020 Development Roadmap has been developed, and is currently the topic of a pull request to the main repo. It has been left as an open PR, to give you a chance to comment on it (via GitHub’s discussion threads and comment board in the PR itself). We will gladly consider any and all feedback from minor edits, to suggestions, and questions about adding or removing topics from the roadmap. The roadmap will be discussed in person during the 2019 OpenMDAO workshop on October 28 and 29, and we will finalize it by the end of November 2019.
We can not promise to accept everyone’s suggestions. The roadmap is not intended to be a document developed by the committee. However, we sincerely do want to hear your thoughts on our plans and are open to considering other topics if you can make a good case for why they deserve higher focus.
We want to highlight one particular part of the 2020 roadmap: Establishing A Community Contribution Process. A key part of letting the community contribute to OpenMDAO will be establishing formal rules that will govern all API and functionality changes to OpenMDAO (including our own changes!). This process will revolve around documents called POEMs. The current POEM rules are our first cut at this and we know they will need to evolve as we actually start to use it. If you think you might write your own POEMs in the future, we encourage you to take a look at what we have so far.