[Numpy-discussion] Re: [Python-Dev] PEP 242 Numeric kinds

Raymond Hettinger python at rcn.com
Thu Dec 5 22:57:03 CST 2002


> I have a draft implementation and users of it but my
> feeling is that although correct and useful the PEP is not useful enough
> to put it in the standard library. Since it really only interests
> scientific programmers I propose simply making it a separate deliverable
> on the Numeric site and withdrawing the PEP.

As the PEP author, your feeling is probably the most accurate.
And, it is true that Kinds will, in general, appeal to the same crowd 
as Numeric.

OTOH, "import kinds" is entirely unobtrusive and general purpose.
The interface is simple; and may help some code become less platform
sensitive (in the way the Metafont writes its own portable routines to 
create consistent lettering); and it has some educational value (making
it easy to demonstrate the effects of truncation and floating point
round-off).  

Also, I think accounting applications can benefit from having some
positive assurance that multi-billion dollar calculations don't lose 
their pennies and that the books will still balance.

So, the only downside is having an additional block of code to 
maintain.  My vote is for adding it to the standard library.  Control
over precision is more of a core capability than it is an extension,
but, as the PEP author and principal user, you probably know best.

'nuff said,


Raymond Hettinger


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