[Numpy-discussion] More on transitioning to Numarray

Travis Oliphant oliphant at ee.byu.edu
Thu Jan 22 19:33:01 CST 2004

Today, I realized that I needed to restate what my intention in raising 
the subject to begin with was.

First of all, I would like to see everybody transition to Numarray 
someday.  On the other hand, I'm not willing to ignore performance 
issues just to reach that desireable goal.

I would like to recast my proposal into the framework of helping SciPy 
transition to Numarray.  Basically, I don't think Numarray will be ready 
to fully support SciPy in less than a year (basically because it 
probably won't happen until some of us SciPy folks do a bit more work 
with Numarray).   To help that along I am proposing making a few changes 
to the Numeric object that SciPy uses so that the array object SciPy 
expects starts looking more and more like the Numarray object.

We have wanted to do this in SciPy and were simply wondering if it would 
make sense to change the Numeric object or to grab the Numeric code base 
into SciPy and make changes there.   The feedback from the community has 
convinced me personally that we should leave Numeric alone and make any 
changes to something we create inside of SciPy.

There is a lot of concern over having multiple implementations of nd 
arrays due to potential splitting of tools, etc.  But,  I should think 
that  tools should be  coded to an interface (API, methods, data 
structures) instead of a signle implementation, so that the actual 
underlying object should not matter greatly.   I thought that was the 
point of modular development and object-orientedness ....  Anyone doing 
coding with numeric arrays already has to distinguish between: Python 
Imaging Objects, Lists of lists, and other array-like objects. 

I think it is pretty clear that Numeric won't be changing.  Thus, 
anything we do with the Numeric object will be done from the framework 
of SciPy.

Best regards.

Travis O.

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