[SciPy-dev] New Operators in Python

Joachim Dahl dahl.joachim@gmail....
Sat Mar 24 03:57:50 CDT 2007


That's a great idea!  Having equivalents to Matlab's A\b  and A.*B would
make numerical codes
simpler,  and even though it may not sound terribly important to Python
purists,  it would
help to make Python a more intuitive alternative to Matlab also.

Asking the Python developers how they feel about user-defined dyadic
operators can't hurt,  and
it doesn't sound like a large change that developers will object.


On 3/24/07, Travis Oliphant <oliphant@ee.byu.edu> wrote:
>
>
> Every so often the idea of new operators comes up because of the need to
> do both "matrix-multiplication" and element-by-element multiplication.
>
> I think this is one area where the current Python approach is not as
> nice because we have a limited set of operators to work with.
>
> One thing I wonder is if we are being vocal enough with the Python 3000
> crowd to try and get additional operators into the language itself.
>
> What if we could get a few new operators into the language to help us.
> If we don't ask for it, it certainly won't happen.
>
> My experience is that the difficulty of using the '*' operator for both
> matrix multiplication and element-by-element multiplication depending on
> the class of the object is not especially robust.  It makes it harder to
> write generic code, and we still haven't gotten everything completely
> right.
>
> It is somewhat workable as it stands, but I think it would be nicer if
> we could have some "meta" operator that allowed an alternative
> definition of major operators.   Something like @*  for example (just
> picking a character that is already used for decorators).
>
> I wonder if we should propose such a thing for Python 3000.
>
> -Travis
>
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