[SciPy-dev] Accessible SciPy (ASP) project

Alan G Isaac aisaac at american.edu
Tue Oct 19 10:01:30 CDT 2004

On Mon, 18 Oct 2004, Robert Kern apparently wrote:
> 1. Neither Numeric nor numarray have a consistent axis convention to adopt.

In numarray (which seeks Numeric compatibility) we find

all of fft stuff
sort, argsort, argmin, argmax, trapz, diff

all of the linear algebra stuff
(except diff in mlab.py, which numarray no longer documents)
along with repeat, concatenate, compress, reduce,
accumulate, average, take, alltrue, sometrue, zreduce,
areduce, put

I consider it a convention to say:
all of the linear algebra stuff uses axis=0,
all of fft stuff uses axis=-1

If the axis question seems pressing for the other functions,
I suggest that for sort, argsort, argmin, argmax, trapz,
diff SciPy can *require* an axis argument, and document this
prominently.  Any other deviation is going to eventually
lead somebody to make a terrible mistake.

It is not tenable for users to know that SciPy relies on
Numeric/numarray but adopts different default behavior.
And, as I said before, this complicates documentation
efforts, which could be a shared effort across Numeric,
numarray, and SciPy.

Alan Isaac

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