[Numpy-discussion] Anyone have a well-tested SWIG-based C++ STL valarray <=> numpy.array typemap to share?

David Cournapeau david@ar.media.kyoto-u.ac...
Mon Sep 17 00:04:22 CDT 2007

Christopher Barker wrote:
> Charles R Harris wrote:
>> On 9/10/07, *Christopher Barker* <Chris.Barker@noaa.gov 
>>     STL either, so I'm not sure there is any downside to valarray. It looks
>>     like neither one [vector or valarray] supports any kind of "view" semantics, so for the
>>     purposes of numpy array wrapping, they really aren't any different.
>> I think that the originator of valarray saying it was misguided might be 
>> considered a downside.
> I had read that, though interestingly, I haven't seen any more recent 
> commentary about the issues at all.
> In any case, it appears that what Budge is saying is that the original 
> goal of valarray being well used for optimized numerical routines isn't 
> going to happen (I don't think it has, though there is a PPC altivec 
> version out there). However std::vector doesn't have any numerical 
> optimizations either, so I don't see any reason to choose std::vector 
> over std:valarray.
> My real question is what compiler and library writers are doing -- has 
> anyone (OK, I guess MS and gcc are all I care about anyway) built 
> anything optimized for them? Are they going to dump them? Who knows?
What do you mean by optimization ? I think this question is the key. I 
remember having used blitz at some point, and I thought it was terrible. 
It is really complicated, and to get good performances was really 
difficult. Maybe I used it wrongly, I don't know (this was a few years 
ago). But at some point, I decided to just use plain C arrays instead: 
the code was much faster, and actually much easier (I really hate 
template syntax).

I personnally don't think all the template things worth it for 
optimizing temporaries (which was the goal of blitz): the complexity 
cost is enormous, for not much benefit. I think C++ is much more useful 
for the automatic memory management through RAII, which is what 
std::vector gives you. As long as you think about setting the right size 
to avoid resizes, all other considerations are not worthwhile IMHO. C 
speed is already quite good on modern CPU, and std::vector gives you 
that. If your compiler supports restrict, use it 
this will give you "Fortran speed".

The fact that, while C++ being a popular language, a standard class for 
matrix algebra does not exist yet shows me that this is not that useful, 
or too complicate to develop.



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