[Numpy-discussion] Status of Numeric

Perry Greenfield perry at stsci.edu
Tue Jan 20 17:43:02 CST 2004


On Tuesday, January 20, 2004, at 05:53 PM, Marcel Oliver wrote:

> That this discussion is happening NOW really surprises me.  I have
> been following this list for a couple of years now, with the intention
> of eventually using numerical Python as the main teaching toolbox for
> numerical analysis, and possibly for the migration small research
> codes as well.
>
> The possibility of doing numerics in Phython has always intrigued me.
> Right now I am primarily using Matlab.  It's very powerful, but not
> free and the language is horrible; Octave is trying to play catch up
> but has mostly lost steam.  So a good scientific Phython environment
> (of any sort) would be a really cool thing to have.
>
> However, two things have always held me back (apart from coding small
> examples on a few occasions):
>
> 1. Numerical Phython has been in a limbo for too long (I had even
>    assumed a few times that both Numeric and Numarray were dead for
>    all practical purposes).  If there are two incompatible version for
>
I don't know why you assumed that. Both have regularly been updated more
than once in the past two years.

>    years and no clear indication where the whole thing is going, I am
>    very hesitant to invest any time into writing substantial code, or
>    recommend it for class room use.
>
That's your right of course. You have to remember that neither we 
(STScI)
nor Enthought (who has funded virtually all the scipy work) are getting 
paid
to do the work we are doing for the general community. In our case, we 
do
much of it for our own purposes, and it would certainly be to our 
advantage
if numarray were adopted by the general community so we invest 
resources in
it. If you don't feel it is ready for your purposes, don't use numarray
(or Numeric). We have only so many resources and while we wish we could
do everything immediately, we can't. We are committed to making Python a
good scientific environment, but we don't promise that it has everything
that everyone would need now (and it certainly doesn't).

> 2. Plotting is a major issue.  There are a couple of semi-functional
>    packages, but neither a comprehensive solution nor a clear
>    direction for the plotting architecture.
>
I agree completely. A later (tonight) message will discuss the current 
situation
at more length.

Perry Greenfield





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