[Numpy-discussion] Meta: too many numerical libraries doing the same thing?

Konrad Hinsen hinsen at cnrs-orleans.fr
Sun Nov 25 04:45:02 CST 2001


"Christos Siopis <siopis at umich.edu>" <siopis at umich.edu> writes:

> Don't take me wrong, i am not saying that Numpy, PDL, GSL & co. should be
> somehow "merged" --obviously, one needs different wrappers to call
> numerical routines from Python, Perl, C, C++ or Java. But there should be
> a way so that the actual *implementation* of the numerical algorithms is
> only done once and for all.

I agree that sounds nice in theory. But even if it were technically
feasible (which I doubt) given the language differences, it would be a
development project that is simply too big for scientists to handle as
a side job, even if they were willing (which again I doubt).

My impression is that the organizational aspects of software
development are often neglected. Some people are good programmers but
can't work well in teams. Others can work in teams, but are not good
coordinators. A big project requires at least one, if not several,
people who are good scientist and programmers, have coordinator
skills, and a job description that permits them to take up the task.
Plus a larger number of people who are good scientists and programmers
and can work in teams. Finally, all of these have to agree on
languages, design principles, etc.

Konrad.
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