[Numpy-discussion] Re: Vote: complex64 vs complex128

Robert Kern robert.kern at gmail.com
Tue Apr 4 12:15:08 CDT 2006

Joe Harrington wrote:
> When I first heard of Complex128, my first response was, "Cool!  I
> didn't even know there was a Double128!"
> Folks seem to agree that precision-based naming would be most
> intuitive to new users, but that length-based naming would be most
> intuitive to low-level programmers.  This is a high-level package,
> whose purpose is to hide the numerical details and programming
> drudgery from the user as much as possible, while still offering high
> performance and not limiting capability too much.  For this type of
> package, a good metric is "when it doesn't restrict capability, do
> what makes sense for new/naiive users".

I'm pretty sure that when any of us say that such-and-such is going to make the
most sense to new users, we're just guessing. Or projecting our experienced-user
prejudices onto them. If I had to register my guess, I would say that either way
will make just as much sense to new users.

I think it's time that we start taking backwards compatibility with previous
releases of numpy seriously and not break numpy code without clear, significant
gains in usability.

Robert Kern
robert.kern at gmail.com

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
 that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
 an underlying truth."
  -- Umberto Eco

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