[Numpy-discussion] rand argument question
Alan G Isaac
aisaac at american.edu
Fri Jun 2 12:41:27 CDT 2006
On Fri, 02 Jun 2006, Sven Schreiber apparently wrote:
> why doesn't rand accept a shape tuple as argument? I find
> the difference between the argument types of rand and (for
> example) zeros somewhat confusing. ... Can anybody offer
> an intuition/explanation?
Backward compatability, I believe. You are not alone in
finding this odd and inconsistent. I am hoping for a change
by 1.0, but I am not very hopeful.
Robert always points out that if you want the consistent
interface, you can always import functions from the 'random'
module. I have never been able to understand this as
a response to the point you are making.
I take it the core argument goes something like this:
- rand and randn are convenience functions
* if you do not find them convenient, don't use them
- they are in wide use, so it is too late to change them
- testing the first argument to see whether it is a tuple or
an int so aesthetically objectionable that its ugliness
outweighs the benefits users might get from access to
a more consistent interface
This is one place where I believe a forward looking (i.e.,
think about new users) vision would force a small change in
these *convenience* functions that will have payoffs both in
ease of use and in eliminating this recurrent question from
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