[Numpy-discussion] Speeding up numarray -- questions on its design

konrad.hinsen at laposte.net konrad.hinsen at laposte.net
Wed Jan 19 03:39:04 CST 2005

On 18.01.2005, at 19:26, Travis Oliphant wrote:

> On another fundamental note, numarray is being sold as a replacement  
> for Numeric.  But, then, on closer inspection many things that Numeric  
> does well, numarray is ignoring or not doing very well.  I think this  
> presents a certain amount of false advertising to new users, who don't  
> understand the history.  Most of them would probably never need the  
> fanciness that

I agree with that. I regularly get questions from people who download  
my code and then wonder why it "still" uses NumPy instead of the  
"newer" numarray. The reason is that my code has nothing to gain from  
numarray, as it uses many small and few if any very large arrays. I  
have no problem explaining that, but the fact that the question arises  
shows that there is a wrong perception by many newcomers of the  
relation between NumPy and numarray.

> comment, I could easily have missed where that support is provided.   
> I'm mainly following up on Konrad's comment that his Automatic  
> differentiation does not work with Numarray because of the missing  
> support for object arrays.  There are other applications for object  
> arrays as well.   Most of the

While I agree that object arrays are useful, they have nothing to do  
with the missing feature that I mentioned recently. That one concerns  
only ufuncs. In NumPy, they use a method call when presented with an  
object type they cannot handle directly. In numarray, they just produce  
an error message in that case.

Returning to object arrays, I have used them occasionally but never in  
any of my public code, because there have been lots of minor bugs  
concerning them in all versions of NumPy. It would be nice if numarray  
could do a better job there.

Konrad Hinsen
Laboratoire Leon Brillouin, CEA Saclay,
91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
Tel.: +33-1 69 08 79 25
Fax: +33-1 69 08 82 61
E-Mail: hinsen at llb.saclay.cea.fr

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