[Numpy-discussion] Ransom Proposals

Tim Hochberg tim.hochberg at cox.net
Tue Mar 28 07:36:18 CST 2006

Travis Oliphant wrote:

> Charles R Harris wrote:
>> Tim,
>>     That being said I have a suggestion that *might* satisfy 
>> everyone. Set
>>     the WRITEABLE flag to false if reshape creates a new array:
>> I think this will cause problems as I myself usually want to modify 
>> the contents after a reshape. Why not in this case have 
>> a.reshape(...) return a view when possible and raise an error 
>> otherwise, and have the functional form make a copy. Reshape the 
>> method then provides a path to efficient computing, while reshape the 
>> function promotes safe computing. I like to write classes in C++ 
>> where I can do things like
>> b.mul(c).add(d).div(e) all inplace for efficiency and the current 
>> situation strikes me as similar.
> This is the direction I could support.   If we did this, then the 
> ravel method would also have to change to be consistent.
> The functions would be copy-if-necessary and would *not* be deprecated.
> To summarize
> on making methods that return views raise an error when impossible and 
> not changing and/or deprecating functions (i.e. the functions are 
> simple wrappers around the methods).
> -1
> on making methods that return views raise an error when impossible and 
> changing the function to make a copy
> +0

+1 Assuming I understand all of the implications.

* When doing automated conversion from Numeric/numarray to numpy, 
"reshape(obj) => asarray(obj).reshape()". Doing anything else is going 
to cause breakage and/or massive slowdowns. Can the conversion tool 
handle this? I would guess yes, but that's just a guess.

* This means that "somenoncontiguousarray.reshape(newshape)" will oftern 
raise an error. That's a good thing, but I figured I'd get it out in the 
open now so no one is suprised.

* Since x.reshape would no longer return copies, the order flag is 

* numpy.reshape(obj, newshape) on the other hand, always copies, so it 
*could* grow an order flag. I think that I'd prefer that it didn't; if 
you need that kind of control of the resulting arrays you should be 
using array to copy your matrices.

* What does fixing ravel to be consistent mean? Always return a view? Or 
always return a copy? The latter seems more useful, as the first is 
already covered by both obj.reshape(-1) and obj.flat.



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