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

Perry Greenfield perry at stsci.edu
Wed Jan 19 14:10:02 CST 2005

I'd like to clarify our position on this a bit in case previous 
messages have given a wrong or incomplete impression.

1) We don't deny that small array performance is important to many 
users. We understand that. But it generally isn't important for our 
projects, and in the list of things to do for numarray, we can't give 
it high priority this year. We have devoted resources to this issue in 
the past couple of years (but without sufficient success to persuade 
many to switch for that reason alone), and it is hard to continue to 
put much more resources into this not knowing whether it will be enough 
of an improvement to satisfy those that really need it.

2) This doesn't mean that we don't think it isn't important to add as 
soon as it can be done. That is, we aren't trying to prevent such 
improvements from being made.

3) We hope that there are people out there for which this is important 
who would like to see a numarray/Numeric unification, have some 
experience with the internals of one or the other (or are willing to 
learn), and are willing to devote the time to help make numarray faster 
(if you can rewrite everything from scratch and satisfy both worlds, 
that would make just as happy :-).

4) We are willing to help in the near term as far as helping explain 
how things currently work, where possible improvements can be made, 
helping in design discussions, reviewing proposed or actual changes, 
and doing the testing and integration of such changes.

5) But the onus of doing the actual implementation can't be on us for 
reasons I've already given. But besides those I think it is important 
that whoever does this should have a strong stake in the success of 
this (i.e., the performance improvements are important for their 


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