[Numpy-discussion] Proposed Roadmap Overview

Neal Becker ndbecker2@gmail....
Sun Feb 19 08:00:03 CST 2012

Sturla Molden wrote:

> Den 18. feb. 2012 kl. 01:58 skrev Charles R Harris
> <charlesr.harris@gmail.com>:
>> On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 4:44 PM, David Cournapeau <cournape@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I don't think c++ has any significant advantage over c for high performance
>> libraries. I am not convinced by the number of people argument either: it is
>> not my experience that c++ is easier to maintain in a open source context,
>> where the level of people is far from consistent. I doubt many people did not
>> contribute to numoy because it is in c instead if c++. While this is somehow
>> subjective, there are reasons that c is much more common than c++ in that
>> context.
>> I think C++ offers much better tools than C for the sort of things in Numpy.
>> The compiler will take care of lots of things that now have to be hand
>> crafted and I wouldn't be surprised to see the code size shrink by a
>> significant factor.
> The C++11 standard is fantastic. There are automatic data types, closures,
> reference counting, weak references, an improved STL with datatypes that map
> almost 1:1 against any built-in Python type, a sane threading API, regex, ect.
> Even prng is Mersenne Twister by standard. With C++11 it is finally possible
> to "write C++ (almost) like Python". On the downside, C++ takes a long term to
> learn, most C++ text books teach bad programming habits from the beginning to
> the end, and C++ becomes inherently dangerous if you write C++ like C. Many
> also abuse C++ as an bloatware generator. Templates can also be abused to
> write code that are impossible to debug. While it in theory could be better, C
> is a much smaller language. Personally I prefer C++ to C, but I am not
> convinced it will be better for NumPy.

I'm all for c++11, but if you are worried about portability, dude, you have a 
bit of a problem here.

> I agree about Cython. It is nice for writing a Python interface for C, but get
> messy and unclean when used for anything else. It also has too much focus on
> adding all sorts of "new features" instead of correctness and stability. I
> don't trust it to generate bug-free code anymore.
> For wrapping C, Swig might be just as good. For C++, SIP, CXX or Boost.Pyton
> work well too.
> If cracy ideas are allowed, what about PyPy RPython? Or perhaps Go? Or even C#
> if a native compuler could be found?
c# is a non-starter if you want to run on linux.

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