[Numpy-discussion] Proposal for making of Numarray a real Numeric 'NG'

Perry Greenfield perry at stsci.edu
Sat Jan 22 08:26:03 CST 2005

Paul Dubois wrote:

> My intention was to replace Numeric with a quickly-written better 
> implementation. That is why the Numeric page says what it says. I've 
> left it that way as a reminder of the goal, which I continue to believe 
> is important. Besides cleaning it up, the other motivation was to back 
> off the 'performance at all cost' design enough that we would be 'safe' 
> enough to qualify for the Python distribution and become a standard 
> module. Numeric was written without many safety checks *on purpose*. 
> Over time opinions about that philosphy changed.
> In fact, the team that wrote numarray did not do what I asked for, 
> leading to the present confusion but also to, as noted by Altet, some 
> nice features. I think it was unfortunate that this happened but as with 
> most open source projects the person doing the work does the work the 
> way they want and partly to satisfy their own needs. But they do the 
> work, all credit to them. I'm not complaining.
Just to clarify, if we could have found a way of doing a basic version
and layering on the extra features we would have. To take a specific
example, if you want to be able to access data in a buffer that is
spaced by intervals not a multiple of the data element size (which is
what recarray needs to do) then one needs to handle non-aligned data
in the basic version (otherwise segfaults will happen). I couldn't 
see a way of handling such arrays without the mechanism for handling
non-aligned data being built into the basic mechanism (if someone
else can, I'd like to see it). So it's a good design approach, but
sometimes things can't work that way.


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