[Numpy-discussion] recarray field names

Travis Oliphant oliphant at ee.byu.edu
Wed Mar 15 16:33:43 CST 2006

Fernando Perez wrote:

> Mmh, just curious: I wonder about the wisdom of that overloading of a 
> 'magic' key (-1).  It will make thinks like
> for name in t.dtype.fields:

No real wisdom.  More organic growth.  Intially I didn't have an ordered 
list of fields, but as more complicated data-type descriptors were 
supported, this became an important thing to have.  I should have 
probably added a n additional element to the PyArray_Descr structure.   
Remember, it was growing out of the old PyArray_Descr already and I was 
a little concerned about changing it too much (there are ramifications 
of changing this structure in several places).

So, instead of adding a "ordered_names" tuple to the dtype object, I 
just stuck it in the fields dictionary.  I agree it's kind of odd 
sitting there. 

It probably deserves a re-factoring and pulling that out into a new 
attribute of the dtype object.

This would mean that the PyArray_Descr structure would need a new object 
(names perhaps), and it would need to be tracked. 

Not a huge change and probably worth it before the next release.


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