[Numpy-discussion] How to handle a busted API?

Charles R Harris charlesr.harris@gmail....
Sun Jul 13 01:49:20 CDT 2008

On Sun, Jul 13, 2008 at 12:02 AM, Robert Kern <robert.kern@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Jul 13, 2008 at 00:44, Charles R Harris
> <charlesr.harris@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi All,
> >
> > This is apropos ticket #805. The reporter wants to change the signature
> of
> > the functions PyArray_FromDims and PyArray_FromDimsAndDataAndDesc, which
> we
> > really can't do at this point because they are part of the Numpy API. The
> > problem can be seen in the current signatures:
> >
> > PyArray_FromDims(int nd, int *d, int type)
> > PyArray_FromDimsAndDataAndDescr(int nd, int *d, PyArray_Descr *descr,
> char
> > *data)
> >
> > where d points to the desired dimensions. On 64 bit architectures the int
> > type can be too small to hold the dimensions. Now these functions are old
> > and retained for compatibility; the user's problem turned up in
> num_utils,
> > which is a C++ interface to Numeric. Quite possibly other programs use it
> > also (BOOST?).
> >
> > So the question is, how do we go about dealing with this. Do we remove
> them
> > at some point, breaking compatibility and the current API? If so, when do
> we
> > do this?
> The original vision was to remove numpy.oldnumeric and (I think)
> numpy/oldnumeric.h at what was envisioned as "1.1" long ago when we
> were still at 0.9 or so. That vision has been overcome by events, I
> think.
> Given the evidence of people's adoption, I don't quite think it's time
> to remove the compatibility APIs wholesale, yet. However, for
> problematic APIs like this one, I think we can issue a
> DeprecationWarning (see below) in 1.2, and schedule them for removal
> in 1.3. In 1.3 until the whole compatibility API is removed, we can
> have these APIs just contain an #error such that they stop the build
> at compile time.
> > Should we issue a deprecation warning? If so, how do we do it from
> > C? Should it show up at run time or compile time?
> Compile-time warnings will be ignored if they aren't errors that stop
> the build. Run-time DeprecationWarnings are feasible:
>  http://docs.python.org/dev/c-api/exceptions.html#PyErr_WarnEx

OK, will do. The same user wants to fix up fftpack_lite. This should
actually be pretty easy, just replace all ints by longs in fftpack and
fftpack_lite. Or maybe we should use one of the python.h types. As far as I
know, these functions are only exposed through the python interface.


> --
> Robert Kern
> "I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless
> enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as
> though it had an underlying truth."
>  -- Umberto Eco
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