[SciPy-dev] Accessible SciPy (ASP) project

Robert Kern rkern at ucsd.edu
Mon Oct 18 23:50:07 CDT 2004

Alan G Isaac wrote:

> ii. axes:
> the current SciPy change of the default axes from
> the Numeric and numarray defaults is a sure source
> of confusion to new users, who are likely to be
> relying on the Numeric manual supplemental SciPy guidance!
> Please make SciPy adopt the Numeric and numarray
> axes conventions and avoid needless confusion here.

1. Neither Numeric nor numarray have a consistent axis convention to adopt.

2. The only function defined by Numeric that gets overridden by scipy 
and has an axis argument different is cumsum. scipy's cumsum is 
consistent with the axis convention chosen for scipy.

3. Numeric's documentation is incorrect wrt axis defaults for a couple 
of functions in any case.

I'm willing to entertain the suggestion that scipy's cumsum should be 
renamed so as to not override Numeric's (as scipy's prod and cumprod are 
named so as to not override Numeric's product and cumproduct).

> iii. matrices:
> I can see no reason for matrix objects not to
> have many more attributes.  Why should a new
> user look for linalg.det(A) instead of just
> being able to say A.det?  Similarly for many
> linear algebra actions on matrices, esp.
> decompositions.  SciPy can change the packages
> it relies on for these services at will, as
> long as users get a stable interface in
> the matrices themselves.

The main reason is likely that no one has stepped up to implement, 
document, and test these attributes. Write up a patch, submit it to the 
issue tracker <URL:http://www.scipy.net/roundup/scipy/index>, and assign 
the issue to me (rkern).

Robert Kern
rkern at ucsd.edu

"In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
  Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
   -- Richard Harter

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