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

Ralf Gommers ralf.gommers@googlemail....
Tue Sep 22 18:02:16 CDT 2009

On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 1:58 PM, Michael Droettboom <mdroe@stsci.edu> wrote:

> Sorry to resurrect a long-dead thread, but I've been continuing Chris
> Hanley's investigation of chararray at Space Telescope Science Institute
> (and the broader astronomical community) for a while and have some
> findings to report back.

Thank you for the thorough investigation, it seems clear to me now that
chararray does have a purpose and is in good hands.

> Now to address the concerns iterated in this thread.  Unfortunately, I
> don't know where this thread began before it landed on the Numpy list,
> so I may be missing details which would help me address them.

The discussion began on the scipy list, but I think you addressed most
concerns in enough detail.

> > 0) "it gets very little use" (an assumption you presumably dispute);
> >
> Certainly not true from where I stand.
> > 1) "is pretty much undocumented" (less true than a week ago, but still
> true for several of the attributes, with another handful or so falling into
> the category of "poorly documented");
> >
> I don't quite understand this one -- 99% of the methods are wrappers
> around standard Python string methods.  I don't think we should
> redocument those.  I agree it needs a better top level docstring about
> its purpose (see functionalities (1) and (2) above) and its status (for
> backward compatibility).

Well, then the docstrings should say that. It can be a 4-line standard
template that refers to the stdlib docs, but it would be nice to get
something other than this in ipython:

>>> charar = np.chararray(2)
>>> charar.ljust?
    <no docstring>

> > 2) "probably more buggy than most other parts of NumPy" ("probably" being
> a euphemism, IMO);
> >
> Trac has these bugs.  Any others?
> http://projects.scipy.org/numpy/ticket/1199
> http://projects.scipy.org/numpy/ticket/1200
> http://projects.scipy.org/numpy/ticket/856
> http://projects.scipy.org/numpy/ticket/855
> http://projects.scipy.org/numpy/ticket/1231

This one:

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