[SciPy-Dev] [SciPy-User] log pdf, cdf, etc

Travis Oliphant oliphant@enthought....
Tue Jun 1 18:25:35 CDT 2010


On Jun 1, 2010, at 8:19 AM, Ralf Gommers wrote:

> 
> 
> On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 1:20 PM, Travis Oliphant <oliphant@enthought.com> wrote:
> 
> On May 31, 2010, at 6:39 AM, Ralf Gommers wrote:
>  
>  These recent changes are a bit problematic for several reasons:
> - there are many new methods for distributions without tests. 
> 
> These methods are simple to see and verify.    Which methods specifically are you concerned about? 
> 
> They're not all simple, for example rv_continuous._reduce_func. Since it contains inner function definitions inside an "else" block there's also a good chance it's actually broken.
> 
> And in principle I'm worried about all of them. The python 2.4/2.5 syntax error was caught early, but what if some code you regard as simple is broken in a less obvious way on 2.4/2.5? Maybe a user finds it in a release candidate, forcing us to build an extra one? Or just after the final release?
> 
>> - there are no docs for many new private and public methods
> 
> They are all fairly self explanatory.   But, docs can be added if needed.
> 
> For you, and maybe for me too. But for undergraduate students, or Joe in accounting who inherited  this random app that's essential for his job? It's simple, no public docs without docstrings. And preferably no private ones either.
> 
> Thanks for fixing all public docs quickly though. You missed just one, gamma.fit.
> 
>> - invalid syntax: http://projects.scipy.org/scipy/ticket/1186
> 
> This has been fixed (it was easier to fix the syntax then file the ticket...)  Also to be clear this is only invalid for Python < 2.6 (the comment makes it sound like somehow the changes weren't tested at all). 
> 
> I didn't mean to imply that you were committing code that didn't even work for you.
>> - the old rv_continuous doc template was put back in
> 
> I'm not sure what you mean.   Which change did this? 
> 
> The first one of your recent commits, r6392. The docstrings for subclasses of rv_continuous and rv_discrete are not generated from this template anymore, which is why it was removed. Look at line 862 (# generate docstring for subclass instances) and below that to see how it works now. 
> 
> If you're wondering why that changed, the main reasons are (1) to make the docstrings conform to the standard, (2) to be able to put useful info in the base classes, like "this is how you subclass it: ..." instead of a template, and (3) to be able to customize individual distribution docstrings easily.
> 
> 
>> 
>> This, plus Josef saying that he doesn't want to fix the API for some methods yet, makes me want to take it out of the 0.8.x branch. Any objections to that Travis or Josef? 
> 
> I would really like to see these changes go in to 0.8.x.    If Josef feels strongly about the API in the future, we can change it for the next release.   I don't understand what the specific concerns are.  
> 
> No you can't. For API changes we do have a policy, they need deprecation first. Which means if we release it like this now, we're stuck with it till 0.10 / 1.0.
> 
> 
> In summary, I see quite a few reasons why this shouldn't go in and don't see a compelling reason to release it right now. The 0.9 release is (tentatively) planned for September, so you don't have to worry that your changes sit in trunk unreleased for 1.5 years.

As the one doing the work of release manager, you have a lot of latitude in making this decision, of course.    The compelling reason to release it right now is to get the improved features which nobody has actually voiced specific concerns about. 

Specifically improvements to the fit method of distribution objects (the ability to fix specific parameters of the distribution and vary others in the fit) is a very nice-to-have feature.     The API change problem you mention is actually an argument for putting it in now (because we *can* deprecate it in 0.9 and then have whatever unspecified correct API come out in 1.0).    I have not heard that there is real disagreement about the API either.   

It feels like I've addressed the major reasons you feel it can't go in.  The functionality is tested.    There are docstrings.  I just removed the rv_continuous doc template.  I really don't know why that was added.   I did not make a specific change to include it.  It must have been a merge error. 

Suggestions about how to give gamma.fit and beta.fit the docstring of it's parent would be appreciated.    

I don't think a general rule of "no private methods without docstrings" is necessarily appropriate, and a bit of an example of going overboard with "rules" and "procedures."   Private methods are not meant to be called outside of code and should not necessarily have to be documented with docstrings.   Every docstring creates more code to maintain and keep consistent with the actual code.    

One of the great things about Python is that you can read the code itself so that it is much closer to self-documenting code 
(close to it but not there --- I like comments and docstrings too). 

Thanks for your efforts. 

-Travis




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