[Numpy-discussion] Proposed Roadmap Overview

Benjamin Root ben.root@ou....
Thu Feb 16 19:35:52 CST 2012

On Thursday, February 16, 2012, Warren Weckesser wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 4:39 PM, Travis Oliphant <travis@continuum.io>wrote:
>> Mark Wiebe and I have been discussing off and on (as well as talking with
>> Charles) a good way forward to balance two competing desires:
>>        * addition of new features that are needed in NumPy
>>        * improving the code-base generally and moving towards a more
>> maintainable NumPy
>> I know there are load voices for just focusing on the second of these and
>> avoiding the first until we have finished that.  I recognize the need to
>> improve the code base, but I will also be pushing for improvements to the
>> feature-set and user experience in the process.
>> As a result, I am proposing a rough outline for releases over the next
>> year:
>>        * NumPy 1.7 to come out as soon as the serious bugs can be
>> eliminated.  Bryan, Francesc, Mark, and I are able to help triage some of
>> those.
>>        * NumPy 1.8 to come out in July which will have as many
>> ABI-compatible feature enhancements as we can add while improving test
>> coverage and code cleanup.   I will post to this list more details of what
>> we plan to address with it later.    Included for possible inclusion are:
>>        * resolving the NA/missing-data issues
>>        * finishing group-by
>>        * incorporating the start of label arrays
>>        * incorporating a meta-object
>>        * a few new dtypes (variable-length string, varialbe-length
>> unicode and an enum type)
>>        * adding ufunc support for flexible dtypes and possibly structured
>> arrays
>>        * allowing generalized ufuncs to work on more kinds of arrays
>> besides just contiguous
>>        * improving the ability for NumPy to receive JIT-generated
>> function pointers for ufuncs and other calculation opportunities
>>        * adding "filters" to Input and Output
>>        * simple computed fields for dtypes
>>        * accepting a Data-Type specification as a class or JSON file
>>        * work towards improving the dtype-addition mechanism
>>        * re-factoring of code so that it can compile with a C++ compiler
>> and be minimally dependent on Python data-structures.
>>        * NumPy 2.0 to come out in January of 2013.   Mark Wiebe and I
>> will post to this list a document that explains some of it's proposed
>> features and enhancements.    I won't steal his thunder for some of the
>> things he is working on.
>> If there are code issues people would like to see addressed, it would be
>> a great time to speak up and/or propose something that you would like to
>> see.
> The above list looks great.  Another request that comes up occasionally on
> the mailing list is for the efficient computation of order statistics, the
> simplest case being a combined min/max function.  Longish thread starts
> here: http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.comp.python.numeric.general/44130/
> Warren
+1 on this.  Also, before I forget, it looks like as of matlab 2011, they
also have a "minmax" function, but for the neural network toolbox. Also,
what it does is so constrained and different that at the very least, a note
about it should go into the "numpy for matlab users" webpage.

Ben Root

>> In general NumPy 1.8 will have new features that need to be explored in
>> order that NumPy 2.0 has enough code "experience" in order to be as useful
>> as possible.   I recognize that NumPy 1.8 has quite a few proposed
>> features.   These have been building up and are the big reason I've
>> committed so many resources to NumPy.   The feature-list did not just come
>> out of my head.   They are the result of talking and interacting with many
>> NumPy users and watching the code get used (and not used) in the real
>> world.    This will be a faster pace of development.   But, all of this
>> will be in the open.    If the NumPy 2.0 schedule is too aggressive, then
>> we will have a NumPy 1.9 release in order to allow features to come out.
>> Thanks,
>> -Travis
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