[Numpy-discussion] future directions

Christopher Barker Chris.Barker@noaa....
Fri Aug 28 11:15:53 CDT 2009

Joe Harrington wrote:
> However, there are two natural forklets coming up.
> The first is Python 3.0, which will necessitate some API changes.

Absolutely! This seems like a no-brainer. I don't think we are talking 
about really major changes to the numpy API anyway, generally clean-up, 
and there is no way anyone is going to get their Py2 code working on Py3 
without tweaking it anyway, this is the time to do it.

Like it or not, Python2 and Python3 are both going to be around for a 
while, so numpy2 and numpy3 will also, but the broader Python community 
made a choice to make a transition, so we should take the opportunity to 
do so as well.

We'll have plenty to argue about even if we do decide that backward 
compatibility is not a goal!

> There seems to be consensus that something like ndarray go into the
> Python language.

I know I think so, but I think one of the big issues is how much of 
numpy go in. The basic nd data container with slicing and dicing at 
least, but what about ufuncs? and ???

 > The resistance
> from that side seems to be 1) we (the Python community) don't have the
> numerical expertise to maintain it, 2) it's not clean enough, and
> sometimes 3) it's too big.

and 4) the pace of change in numpy is too great.

That last one may be soluble, as I think that the nd-array object itself 
is a lot more stable than the rest of numpy.

> So, it may be worthwhile making a cleaned-up successor to numpy, with
> a different name, that is intended for inclusion in Python.

I think the clean-up successor is a great idea with or without this 
intension -- but I do like the idea -- it might help guide what really 
belongs in numpy, and what in add-on packages.

 >  Following the full
> PEP procedure 

or a parallel NPEP system.

If nothing else, it would be nice to have better documentation for 
decisions than the mailing list archive and occasional wiki pages.

long live numpy3k!


Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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