[Numpy-discussion] Numeric3

konrad.hinsen at laposte.net konrad.hinsen at laposte.net
Fri Feb 4 01:19:12 CST 2005


On 04.02.2005, at 05:14, Michiel Jan Laurens de Hoon wrote:

> give you an example from my own field (computational biology). I am  
> one of the maintainers of Biopython, which uses LinearAlgebra and  
> RandomArray. Many of our users are not very familiar with Python. Even  
> installing Numerical Python sometimes causes problems, and I'm sure we  
> have lost users in the past because of that. SciPy, in my experience,

My experience with users of MMTK, nMOLDYN, and DomainFinder is exactly  
the same. Installation problems are the #1 source for support  
questions, in particular under Windows and Irix.

There are a couple of nice things I could use and recommend to my  
users, e.g. SciPy or Atlas-accelerated LinearAlgebra. I don't because I  
know it will generate more support questions, which are already eating  
up too much of my time. I don't use features of very recent Python  
versions for the same reason.

> But seriously, I think that there are advantages to Numerical Python  
> and to SciPy, and they both have a reason to exist. Numerical Python  
> has the

Exactly.

> So I would suggest the following demarcation line between Numerical  
> Python and SciPy:
>
> Stuff that is needed by lots of users (linear algebra, FFT, random  
> numbers, special functions) and is available in ANSI-C (so its  
> installation is straightforward and won't cause problems to users who  
> don't need it) should go into Numerical Python.
>
> Stuff that is needed by fewer users or is not available in ANSI-C  
> should go into SciPy. SciPy, with its binary installers, can provide a  
> real benefit to users who need extension modules written in  
> Fortran/C++/whatnot.

That sounds like a good division line.

Konrad.
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Konrad Hinsen
Laboratoire Leon Brillouin, CEA Saclay,
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E-Mail: khinsen at cea.fr
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