[Numpy-discussion] [SciPy-dev] Deprecate chararray [was Plea for help]

Ralf Gommers ralf.gommers@googlemail....
Fri Aug 21 00:00:31 CDT 2009

On Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 1:32 PM, Christopher Hanley <chanley@stsci.edu>wrote:

> Also, I do not know how many people use this particular feature.
> However I would point out that many people who use numpy are not also
> on the mailing lists.  Most of the STScI do not follow the numpy
> list.  I serve as our point of contact to the numpy community.  I'm
> trying to gather a list of projects that use this feature and specific
> use cases for you.

Great. Even one good use case might change my opinion of chararray.

>  As I do not use this module myself I cannot
> counter your arguments at this time.   If we decide to deprecate this
> module would we reverse this decision if we then find out that the
> assumptions that went into the decision were in error?

That would make sense.

Another concern is that we told people coming from numarray to use
> this module.  It is my opinion that at this point in the numpy release
> cycle that an API change needs a very strong justification.  Anecdotes
> about the number of users, a "change or die" philosophy, and an un-
> articulated notion of  "the spirit of numpy"  do not in my
> consideration meet that high bar.

That is not very fair. I gave you four reasons for assuming there are not
many users, other arguments you leave out here are the state of the code,
lack of docs, tests and (most importantly) a use case.

>  If you would like us to provide
> additional documentation and tests that would be possible.  I'll do it
> myself if that is the only think keeping the module from remaining in
> numpy.

Thanks a lot, that would definitely help.

How about for now we document the module as being there for numarray
compatibility and not recommended for new development? Then if you turn up a
good use case we add it to the docs, and if you don't we revisit the
deprecation issue?

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