[Numpy-discussion] Speeding up Numeric

Paul F. Dubois paul at pfdubois.com
Fri Jan 21 13:43:53 CST 2005


As I mentioned in a recent post, the original Numeric philosphy was damn 
the torpedos full steam ahead; performance first, safety second. There 
was a deliberate decision not to handle NaN, inf, or anything like it, 
and if you overflowed you should die.

Unfortunately the original high-performance community did not remain the 
only community, and there were lots of complaints about dying, it being 
considered unPythonic to die. High-performance people don't mind dying 
so much; to me it just means my algorithm is wrong and I need to hear 
about it. But for a calculator for a biologist or student of linear 
algebra that's not the right answer.

While I haven't researched the source history, I doubt that checking was 
in there before. And putting it in should have been the result of a long 
public discussion first. Perhaps there was one and I missed it, since I 
haven't paid too much attention the last few years (my present project 
involves Numeric only a tiny amount).

When I retire maybe I will write a high-performance one. But it will be 
in C++ and half the people will hate me. (:->

Speed kills. But some of us have to drive fast.




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