[Numpy-discussion] Args for rand and randn: call for a vote

Ed Schofield schofield at ftw.at
Sun Jul 9 00:58:02 CDT 2006

On 09/07/2006, at 12:04 AM, Robert Kern wrote:

> Ed Schofield wrote:
>> Last week's discussion on rand() and randn() seemed to indicate a
>> sentiment that they ought to take tuples for consistency with ones,
>> zeros, eye, identity, and empty -- that, although they are supposed
>> to be convenience functions, they are inconvenient precisely because
>> of their inconsistency with these other functions.  This issue has
>> been raised many times over the past several months.
>> Travis made a change in r2572 to allow tuples as arguments, then took
>> it out again a few hours later, apparently unsure about whether this
>> was a good idea.
>> I'd like to call for a vote on what people would prefer, and then ask
>> Travis to make a final pronouncement before the feature freeze.
> I would like to ask about the purpose of calling for a vote, here.  
> What
> authority do you intend the result to have? If you are just asking  
> for a straw
> poll of opinions from the list to inform Travis' decision, do you  
> think that he
> hasn't read the previous discussions? Are previous non-participants  
> being drawn
> out of the woodwork? ...

No authority at all -- it's just a straw poll.  My intention is  
merely to ascertain whether there's indeed a groundswell of public  
opinion for this change among NumPy's users, as is my suspicion.   
Previous non-participants are indeed coming out of the woodwork.

The reason I've listed only one alternative to the status quo is that  
this is a simple, concrete proposal that has bubbled up several times  
from the discussion, which may have broad enough support to tip  
Travis's decision.

I know that you, Robert, disagree with the proposal and have put  
forward an alternative.  Fair enough, but let's now hear what others  
have to say.

-- Ed

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