[Numpy-discussion] Uncomfortable with matrix change

Charles R Harris charlesr.harris@gmail....
Fri May 9 09:00:51 CDT 2008

On Fri, May 9, 2008 at 7:43 AM, Travis Oliphant <teoliphant@gmail.com>

> Hi all,
> I'm having trouble emailing this list from work, so I'm using a
> different email address.
> After Nathan Bell's recent complaints, I'm a bit more uncomfortable with
> the matrix change to scalar indexing.   It does and will break code in
> possibly hard-to-track down ways.   Also, Nathan has been a *huge*
> contributor to the Sparse matrix in scipy and so I value his opinion
> about the NumPy matrix.  One of my goals is to have those two objects
> work together a bit more seamlessly.
> So, I think we need to:
> 1) Add a warning to scalar access
> 2) Back-out the change and fix all the places where NumPy assumes
> incorrectly that the number of dimensions reduce on PySequence_GetItem.


That said, the basic mistake is probably making Matrix a subclass of
ndarray, as it fails the "is a" test. There really aren't that many places
where inheritance is the right choice and  numpy itself wasn't designed as a
base class: it lacks a specification of what functions can be "virtual" and
is probably too big.

I vote that we bring Nathan into the conversation and see how upset he
really is. Speaking for myself, I sometimes get angry upfront when
specifications change unexpectedly underfoot but then settle down and find
that it isn't all that bad. Being caught by surprise is probably half the

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