[Numpy-discussion] Pull Request Review: R-like sample function

Nathaniel Smith njs@pobox....
Thu Sep 1 22:55:15 CDT 2011


On Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 8:31 PM, Christopher Jordan-Squire
<cjordan1@uw.edu> wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 11:14 PM, Robert Kern <robert.kern@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 22:07, Christopher Jordan-Squire <cjordan1@uw.edu> wrote:
>>
>>> So in the mean time, are there any suggestions for what this R sample
>>> function should be called, since random.sample is apparently taken?
>>
>> If you default to size=1 (which you probably should anyways), then
>> np.random.choice() makes sense, in analogy to random.choice() from the
>> standard library.
>>
> Alright. I can make that change tomorrow. I'd prefer np.sample in the
> long-run, for compatibility with R. (False friends are loathsome
> things.)  How does one petition to get function names deprecated?

I was about to argue that "random.choice" was a better name anyway,
but then I remembered that the standard library "random.sample" exists
and does something similar. So instead I'd like to argue that making
this compatible with Python is more important than making it
compatible with R :-).

Specifically, 'np.random.sample(array_like, k)', with no further
arguments, should perform random sampling *without* replacement.
Ideally it should also efficiently handle the case where array_like is
an xrange object. Docs are here:
http://docs.python.org/library/random.html

-- Nathaniel


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