[SciPy-dev] [Numpy-discussion] Thoughts on making it easier for numarray users to transition to scipy_core
verveer at embl-heidelberg.de
Wed Dec 14 01:29:04 CST 2005
On 13 Dec, 2005, at 23:39, Travis Oliphant wrote:
>> However, even though I am the author, I am most likely not going
>> to support it outside numarray. I do realize that at some point
>> numarray may be retired, but I have not decided yet if I will be
>> using/supporting nd_image beyond that point. It would be nice to
>> have a common code-base with the numarray version so that all can
>> profit from any bug-fixes that I am still doing in the numarray
> So, do I take this to mean that you are not enthusiastic about a
> merger between the Numeric and numarray communities? I would love
> to hear why you feel this way.
> From my perspective, it just makes unification that much harder to
> have important third-party authors make these kinds of statements,
> so I'm curious as to why you don't want to convert to a common code-
> base. Because others may have the same feelings, it would help all
> of us if we could address them. Don't worry about offending me or
> others in the scipy world. We have pretty thick skins by this point.
I think I should clarify what I intent to do with nd_image in the
future. It affects current nd_image users and the numarray package
also, so I am also sending this to the numpy list.
First of all, I should stress that I am quite happy about a possible
merger. It is quite likely that I will be using python for numerical
work in the future, and a merger of numarray and Numeric into a
package of equal or better quality will only make my life easier.
Currently I am the only software developer within a scientific
laboratory, but software development is not my main focus. I used
python with numarray for virtual all of my numerical work, and
nd_image was sort of a side effect of that. Right now I do not have
the time to make a switch to a new package, nor can I really further
expand nd_image. It would be nice to try moving to scipy_core now,
which would help the community too I guess, but I just cannot affort
it at the moment, so I am sticking with numarray for the time being.
My situation will most likely change next year, since our group will
move and expand a lot, and I will hopefully be able to have other
people working on software development. I guess around that time we
will see scipy_core mature, so that would be a good time to switch. I
understand the numarray people take a wait-and-see approach, but
intent to switch when scipy_core matures and fulfills their
requirements. I guess I am following their example.
So next year I will might be in the position of having more resources
and I then will start thinking about developing some open-source
scientific software. An imaging package like nd_image would be one of
them. However, in contrast to the current design, I would like to
move to a package that is fully written in C, with a thin interface
layer to numarray/scipy_core for use with python. That would allow
me to use the routines in other environments than python,.
Sofar I have been very comfortable to make my package available under
the license that is used by numarray. The same would be true for a
scipy_core/scipy version. However, for a general C package that could
have a much broader audience in the same way, I feel different. I
would most likely release such a package using the GPL. In addition,
that would allow me to use other GPL licensed software such as GSL
with it. However, that would mean that a python package based on it
would also be released with that license. I am not complete sure what
the implications for distribution with a package like scipy would be,
this may not be possible. But it would be freely available as a
separate module which we would maintain ourself.
If it pans out this way, it means that nd_image will not be further
developed at some point. I am currently doing bug-fixes in the
numarray version, and I certainly would not mind if there would be a
common code-base allowing it to work with scipy_core. But if I am
going to developer package as described above, I will to focus on
that and recommend nd_image users to switch at some point.
> Even if your statement is made from the perspective of someone who
> is moving away from Python altogether, I would still very-much
> appreciate hearing your reasons. Now, perhaps, your just going to
> experience a career-change altogether in which case, best wishes,
> and thanks for all you've contributed.
I will certainly stick with Python :-)
> Regardless of whether or not you have time to respond, I do
> appreciate all your efforts. The nd_image package is very nice as
> I've told you before. Thank you!
Thanks! nd_image seems to find some users, and I would like to
continue to provide something like nd_image. It might be a while
though until nd_image or a replacement will start moving again and
further developing. Meanwhile I am committed to keep nd_image working
with numarray and doing minor bug-fixes. If we can at some point find
a solution for a single code-base which would work with scipy_core, I
am happy to expand this commitment to scipy_core. I cannot promise
indefinite support, but as long as I am in the field and as long as
I do not release a 'successor' package, I will try...
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