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

Travis Oliphant oliphant at ee.byu.edu
Tue Apr 4 13:42:38 CDT 2006

Robert Kern wrote:

>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.

Totally agree.   I don't see the argument that Complex64 is a 
"precision" description.  To a new user it could go either way depending 
on their previous experience.  I think most new users won't even use the 
bit width names but will instead use 'complex' and be done with it...

>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.


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