[Numpy-discussion] Latest Array-Interface PEP

Charles R Harris charlesr.harris at gmail.com
Fri Jan 5 09:49:08 CST 2007


On 1/5/07, Stefan van der Walt <stefan at sun.ac.za> wrote:
>
> On Fri, Jan 05, 2007 at 09:38:49AM -0500, Neal Becker wrote:
> >     Several extensions to Python utilize the buffer protocol to share
> >     the location of a data-buffer that is really an N-dimensional
> >     array.  However, there is no standard way to exchange the
> >     additional N-dimensional array information so that the data-buffer
> >     is interpreted correctly.
> >
> > I am questioning if this is the best concept.  It says that the
> data-buffer
> > will carry the information about it's interpretation as an N-dimensional
> > array.
> >
> > I'm thinking that a buffer is just an interface to memory, and that the
> > interpretation as an array of n-dimensions, for example, is best left to
> > the application.  I might want to at one time view the data as
> > n-dimensional, but at another time as 1-dimensional, for example.
>
> You can always choose to ignore that information if you don't need it.
> On the other hand, if you *do* need it, how would you otherwise
> interpret an N-dimensional array, given only a buffer?


I think Neal is suggesting some object that basically does nothing but hold
a pointer(s) to memory. This memory can be used in various ways, one of
which is to use it construct another type of object that provides a view
with indices and such, i.e., an array. That way the memory isn't tied to
arrays and could concievable be used in other ways. The idea is analagous to
the data/model/view paradigm. It is a bit cleaner than just ignoring the
array parts.

Chuck
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