[Numpy-discussion] f2py - a recap

Fernando Perez fperez.net@gmail....
Fri Jul 18 23:00:41 CDT 2008


today's exercise with f2py left some lessons learned, mostly thanks to
Robert's excellent help, for which I'm grateful.

I'd like to recap here what we have, mostly to decide what changes (if
any) should go into numpy to make the experience less "interesting"
for future users:

- Remove the f2py_options flag from
numpy.distutils.extension.Extension? If so, do options like
'--debug_capi' get correctly passed via setup.cfg?

This flag is potentially very confusing, because only *some* f2py
options get actually set this way, while others need to be set in
calls to config_fc.

- How to properly set the compiler options in a setup.py file? Robert
suggested the setup.cfg file, but this doesn't get picked up unless
config_fc is explicitly called by the user:

./setup.py config_fc  etc...

This is perhaps a distutils problem,  but I don't know if we can
solve it more cleanly.  It seems to me that it should be possible to
provide a setup.py file that can be used simply as

./setup.py install

(with the necessary setup.cfg  file sitting next to it). I'm thinking
here of what we need to do when  showing how 'easy' these tools are
for scientists migrating from matlab, for example.  Obscure, special
purpose incantations tend to tarnish our message of ease :)

- Should the 'instead' word  be removed from the f2py docs regarding
the use of .pyf sources?  It appears to be a mistake, which threw at
least me for a loop for a while.

- Why does f2py in the source tree have *both* a doc/ and a docs/
directory?  It's really confusing to see this.

f2py happens to be a very important tool, not just because scipy
couldn't build without it, but also to position python as a credible
integration language for scientific work.  So I hope we can make using
it as easy and robust as is technically feasible.



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