[Numpy-discussion] Args for ones, zeros, rand, eye, ones, empty (possible 1.0 change?)

Alan G Isaac aisaac at american.edu
Mon Jul 3 00:54:17 CDT 2006

> Alan G Isaac wrote: 
>> I argue that rand and randn should accept a tuple as the 
>> first argument.  Whether the old behavior is also allowed, 
>> I have no opinion.  But the numpy-consistent behavior should 
>> definitely be allowed.  I perhaps wrongly understood Robert 
>> to argue that the current behavior of rand and randn is not 
>> a wart since i. alternative tuple-accepting functions are 
>> available and ii. the suprising behavior is documented. 
>> This seems quite wrong to me, and I am farily confident that 
>> such an argument would not be offered except in defence of 
>> legacy code. 

On Sun, 02 Jul 2006, Robert Kern apparently wrote: 
> i. Yes, you're still misunderstanding my arguments. 
> ii. I'm bloody sick of rehashing it, so I won't be responding further. 

Sorry, I should not have said: "not a wart".
I perhaps should have instead said: "an acceptable wart",
due to issues of backward compatability.

At least that's what you implied here:
And note that you emphasized the availability of the alternative functions here:
I made the documentation comment based on your action in response
to this conversation: adding documentation.

You make a claim not an argument when you say:
        *Changing* the API of rand() and randn() doesn't 
        solve any problem. *Removing* them might.

Your primary argument against changing the API, as far as 
I can see, is that allowing *both* the extant behavior and 
the numpy consistent behavior will result in confusing code.
Is this a knock-down argument?  I think not.
But in any case, I did not argue (above) for the combined 
behaviors: only for the numpy-consistent behavior.
(Or for removing rand and randn, an action which I view as 
inferior but acceptable, and which you seem---at the link 
above---willing to consider.)

To repeat a point I made before:
    numpy should take a step so that this question goes 
    away, rather than maintain the status quo and see it crop up continually.
    (I.e., its recurrence should be understood to signal a problem.)

Apologies in advance for any misrepresentations,
Alan Isaac

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