The igraph project is proud to announce that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative continues to fund the project in their program on Essential Open Source Software for Science. The project will receive two grants of $400,000 over the course of the next two years. One grant will help to further develop and maintain the igraph project. The other grant will help to diversify the pool of contributors and maintainers of the project, which is jointly coordinated with Women in Network Science, and will be led by Brooke Foucault Welles.
Last year, the core library of igraph was enormously improved, making the library easier to build, easier to maintain and easier to use. However, most users are not using the C core directly, but are using it through one of the interfaces: Python, R or Mathematica. The CZI grant will support the igraph development team on improving these interfaces, by making them more intuitive to use and by integrating them more closely in the host language. Additionally, development efforts will be aimed at making the library and the interfaces easier to maintain, focusing on long-term sustainability. This ensures that igraph continues to be a useful tool for network scientists from various disciplines across the globe.
Having people committed to maintain and further develop igraph is critical to ensure its long-term viability. We made steps towards building a more inclusive and engaged community by opening a forum dedicated to igraph. We aim to enlarge and diversify the team of contributors and maintainers of the project. Making it easier to start using igraph and contributing to igraph is an important step. Improving documentation and tutorials helps achieve that goal, but we will also actively organize workshops for users and contributors, with a specific focus on women and non-binary people, and engage more actively on the community forum. Additionally, a mentorship programme will be setup specifically to facilitate women and non-binary people to use and contribute to igraph, paving the way for them to become maintainers of igraph. The CZI grant will enable us to engage more people in achieving these objectives.