[Numpy-discussion] Proposed Roadmap Overview

Perry Greenfield perry@stsci....
Wed Feb 22 07:44:27 CST 2012

I, like Travis, have my worries about C++. But if those actually doing  
the work (and particularly the subsequent support) feel it is the best  
language for implementation, I can live with that.

I particularly like the incremental and conservative approach to  
introducing C++ that was proposed by Mark. What I would like to stress  
in doing this that all along that process, extensive testing is  
performed (preferably with some build-bot process) to ensure that  
whatever C++ features are being introduced are fully portable and  
don't present intractable distribution issues. Whatever we do, we  
don't want to go far down that road only to find out that there is no  
good solution in that regard with certain platforms.

We are particularly sensitive to this issue since we distribute our  
software, and anything that makes installation of numpy problematic is  
a very serious issue for us. It has to be an easy install on all  
common platforms. That is one thing C allowed, despite all its flaws,  
which is near universal installation advantages over any other  
language available. If the appropriate subset of C++ can achieve that,  
great. But it has to be proved continuously as it is incrementally  
adopted. (I'm not much persuaded by comments like "my experience has  
shown it not to be a problem")

Is there any disagreement with this?

It's less clear to me what to do about more unusual platforms. It  
seems to me that some sort of testing against those that may prove  
important in the future (e.g., gpus?) will be needed, but how to do  
this is not clear to me.


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