[Numpy-discussion] Re: ndarray.fill and ma.array.filled
oliphant at ee.byu.edu
Mon Apr 10 15:21:07 CDT 2006
> On 4/7/06, *Tim Hochberg* <tim.hochberg at cox.net
> <mailto:tim.hochberg at cox.net>> wrote:
> In general, I'm skeptical of adding more methods to the ndarray object
> -- there are plenty already.
> I've also proposed to drop "fill" in favor of optimizing x[...] =
> <scalar>. Having both "fill" and "filled" in the interface is plain
> awkward. You may like the combined proposal better because it does
> not change the total number of methods :-)
> In addition, it appears that both the method and function versions of
> filled are "dangerous" in the sense that they sometimes return the
> itself and sometimes a copy.
> This is true in ma, but may certainly be changed.
> Finally, changing ndarray to support masked array feels a bit like the
> tail wagging the dog.
> I disagree. Numpy is pretty much alone among the array languages
> because it does not have "native" support for missing values. For the
> floating point types some rudimental support for nans exists, but is
> not really usable. There is no missing values machanism for integer
> types. I believe adding "filled" and maybe "mask" to ndarray (not
> necessarily under these names) could be a meaningful step towards
> "native" support for missing values.
Supporting missing values is a useful thing (but not for every usage of
arrays). Thus, ultimately, I see missing-value arrays as a solid
sub-class of the basic array class. I'm glad Sasha is working on
missing value arrays and have tried to be supportive.
I'm a little hesitant to add a special-case method basically for one
particular sub-class, though, unless it is the only workable solution.
We are still exploring this whole sub-class space and have not really
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