[Numpy-discussion] logical_and operator, &&, is missing?

Eric Firing efiring at hawaii.edu
Sat Jun 24 18:08:00 CDT 2006

Robert Kern wrote:
> Eric Firing wrote:
>>That makes sense, and implies that the real solution would be the 
>>introduction of operators && and || into Python, or a facility that 
>>would allow extensions to add operators.  I guess it would be a matter 
>>of having hooks into the parser.  I have no idea whether either of these 
>>is a reasonable goal--but it certainly would be a big plus for Numpy.
> I don't really see how. We already have the & and | operators. The only 
> difference between them and the && and || operators would be that the latter 
> would automatically coerce to boolean arrays. But you can do that explicitly, now.
>    a.astype(bool) | b.astype(bool)

Another difference pointed out in the Wiki is precedence, which requires 
one to be more careful about parentheses when using the bitwise 
operators.  This arises because although the bitwise operators 
effectively do the right thing, given boolean arguments, there really is 
a difference between & and &&--that is why C, for example, has both. 
Using & when one means && is a hack that obscures the meaning of the 
code, and using logical_and is clear but cluttered--a significant step 
away from the goal of having code be clear, concise and readable.

I suspect that many other people will trip over the lack of && in the 
same way that I have, and will similarly consider it an irritant that we 
work around because we have to, not because it is good.

> Of course, it's highly likely that you are applying & and | to arrays that are 
> already boolean. Consequently, I don't see a real need for more operators.
> But if you'd like to play around with the grammar:
>    http://www.fiber-space.de/EasyExtend/doc/EE.html

Interesting, thanks--but I will back off now.


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