[Numpy-discussion] Release notes please; possible bugs

Tom Loredo loredo at astro.cornell.edu
Mon Jul 31 22:15:08 CDT 2006

Hi Travis et al.-

> Release Notes are forthcoming.   But, probably won't be available for 
> awhile.

Thanks for the alert, and for the subsequent clarifications.

> The "problem" is that backward compatibility is not accomplished simply 
> by using import numpy instead of import Numeric.  You have to use import 
> numpy.oldnumeric to get it.

My problem is not with backward incompatibility.  I am quite satisfied
that all the changes are sensible, and I've tried to keep pace with
them.  I do skim the various digests
fairly regularly.  When I see an issue discussed and resolved, it
is clear to me that the decisions are being made by better heads
than mine.  I'm +1 on all the changes, and grateful to all the
developers who are thinking this stuff through so carefully.

My problem is with wanting to keep up with at least most of
the changes.  I want to use numpy, not numpy.oldnumeric.  I have
a 10k+ line codebase I'm maintaining (with another 10k+ of
wrapped Fortran and C) that I want to release when numpy-1.0
settles down.  But there's nowhere I can go to find out what
the changes are.  My digest skimming is not turning up all
of them.  I have recent copies of the Guide (I'm not sure if
these are regularly emailed out or if I always have to ask
for an update), and though I find some of the changes when
I stumble upon them, even in the Guide there is no section
of "recent changes" or something like that.  To find the
changes, you just have to remember the old way and catch the
new way.

So now we have a "beta" out, but who are the beta testers supposed
to be?  Just the developers, who know about all the changes
already?  I'm not a numpy novice, but I'm stumbling with this
beta more than I'm used to with betas, not because it's buggy,
but simply because I don't know what's changing from release
to release.

I was tempted to start a Wiki page about it, but this discussion
already reveals I'm not the one to do it, as some of what I
thought I figured out about the changes turns out to be in error.

> I was assuming adopters were willing to move with us until NumPy 1.0 
> where backward compatibility would be made an important issue. 

I have been trying to move along with the changes (I had to roll
back the last micro version or two of 0.9 because mpl wasn't
keeping pace across my two main platforms).  But without something
like release notes or a "what's changed" page, it's sometimes
been hard to move with you, and it's esp. hard with the 1.0 jump.

> > * In the C API, ContiguousFromObject is now ContiguousFromAny.
> > I am surprised that my libraries compile with no errors; I
> > only get a runtime error.  Shouldn't I be warned about this
> > at compile-time?
> >   
> I'm not sure what the problem you are getting is.   Please give your 
> runtime error.  This should work.  ContiguousFromObject is still available.

Okay, I'm at home now on my Mac and it all works fine here.  The
failures were on FC3 linux.  I'll have to undo my patches to mtrand
to get the bugs back.  More when I'm back at that machine.

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