[Numpy-discussion] numpy release

Alan G Isaac aisaac@american....
Thu Apr 24 15:24:26 CDT 2008

On Thu, 24 Apr 2008, Christopher Barker apparently wrote:
> for r in MyMatrix.A:

Of course: this possibility is mentioned explicitly in 
several of my posts.  There are a few different answers to 
why asking users to do this annoying:

        1. It is a deviation from the behavior of 2d arrays 
        that does not seem to "buy" anything, so it 
        pointlessly breaks a natural expectation.  (But 
        maybe some will show that it does buy a benefit.)
        So it breaks the rule: stick with the behavior of 2d 
        arrays except for *, **, and nonscalar indexing,
        which is a pretty understandable rule.  To this 
        extent I agree with Tim that matrices and arrays 
        should be as alike as it is feasible to make them, 
        while still getting the convenience of *, **, and 
        submatrices via nonscalar indexing.
        2. Whenever you do not know ahead of time whether 
        you will pass an array or a matrix, you must bear 
        the (small but annoying) cost of working around your 
        3. In my own experience, whenever I want to iterate 
        over a matrix, I want the 1d arrays.  Others may 
        have different experiences, but they have not shared 
        them.  Unless we find users who actually want the 
        vectors you want to provide them with, you seem to 
        be promoting this approach based on fairly abstract 
        design considerations.  (Which is not necessarily 
        bad of course.)
        4. If users do want to iterate over rows and 
        columns, it is more natural (i.e., symmetrical) to 
        provide these as attributes of the matrix.

I do not mean for any of this to be determinative.  Indeed, 
against this are two possible arguments.

        1. For matrices and sparse matrices to nicely behave 
        alike, your proposal will be necessary.  (This case 
        has not been made yet, however.)
        2. I think Stefan might argue something like, to 
        leave the "linear algebra world", you should have to 
        be quite explicit, as x.A is.  I find it explict 
        enough if we use a matrix as an iterator---to me 
        that means indeed I am leaving the matrices in favor 
        of arrays.

Alan Isaac

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