[Numpy-discussion] Raveling, reshape order keyword unnecessarily confuses index and memory ordering

Ralf Gommers ralf.gommers@gmail....
Fri Apr 5 14:09:47 CDT 2013


On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 5:13 PM, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett@gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi,
>
> On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 2:20 AM, Sebastian Berg
> <sebastian@sipsolutions.net> wrote:
> > Hey
> >
> > On Thu, 2013-04-04 at 14:20 -0700, Matthew Brett wrote:
> >> Hi,
> >>
> >> On Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 4:32 AM, Nathaniel Smith <njs@pobox.com> wrote:
> >> <snip>
> >> > Maybe we should go through and rename "order" to something more
> descriptive
> >> > in each case, so we'd have
> >> >   a.reshape(..., index_order="C")
> >> >   a.copy(memory_order="F")
> >> > etc.?
> >>
> >> I'd like to propose this instead:
> >>
> >> a.reshape(..., order="C")
> >> a.copy(layout="F")
> >>
> >
> > I actually like this, makes the point clearer that it has to do with
> > memory layout and implies contiguity, plus it is short and from the
> > numpy perspective copy, etc. are the ones that add additional info to
> > "order" and not reshape (because IMO memory order is something new users
> > should not worry about at first). A and K orders will still have their
> > quirks with np.array and copy=True/False, but for many functions they
> > are esoteric anyway.
> >
> > It will be one hell of a deprecation though, but I am +0.5 for adding an
> > alias for now (maybe someone knows an even better name?), but I think
> > that in this case, it probably really is better to wait with actual
> > deprecation warnings for a few versions, since it touches a *lot* of
> > code. Plus I think at the point of starting deprecation warnings (and
> > best earlier) numpy should provide an automatic fixer script...
> >
> > The only counter point that remains for me is the difficulty of
> > deprecation, since I think the new name idea is very clean. And this is
> > unfortunately even more invasive then the index_order proposal.
>
> I completely agree that we'd have to be gentle with the change.  The
> problem we'd want to avoid is people innocently using 'layout' and
> finding to their annoyance that the code doesn't work with other
> people's numpy.
>
> How about:
>
> Step 1:  'order' remains as named keyword, layout added as alias,
> comment on the lines of "layout will become the default keyword for
> this option in later versions of numpy; please consider updating any
> code that does not need to remain backwards compatible'.
>
> Step 2: default keyword becomes 'layout' with 'order' as alias,
> comment like "order is an alias for 'layout' to maintain backwards
> compatibility with numpy <= 1.7.1', please update any code that does
> not need to maintain backwards compatibility with these numpy
> versions'
>
> Step 3: Add deprecation warning for 'order', "order will be removed as
> an alias in future versions of numpy"
>
> Step 4: (distant future) Remove alias
>
> ?
>

A very strong -1 from me. Now we're talking about deprecation warnings and
a backwards compatibility break after all. I thought we agreed that this
was a very bad idea, so why are you proposing it now?

Here's how I see it: deprecation of "order" is a no go. Therefore we have
two choices here:
1. Simply document the current "order" keyword better and leave it at that.
2. Add a "layout" (or "index_order") keyword, and live with both "order"
and "layout" keywords forever.

(2) is at least as confusing as (1), more work and poor design. Therefore I
propose to go with (1).

Ralf
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