[SciPy-dev] Accessible SciPy (ASP) project

Alan G Isaac aisaac at american.edu
Wed Oct 20 00:53:31 CDT 2004

On Tue, 19 Oct 2004, Robert Kern apparently wrote:
> Please stop using the plural. There is precisely one
> function whose axis default gets overridden in this
> manner, and that is cumsum(). Given that there are
> unittests for it, I can only assume that the override is
> deliberate and chosen with the Numeric incompatibility in
> mind.

I get your point, but I see this a bit differently.
i. True, cumprod has a different name, but not one that
differentiates it for a new user
ii. sum has been marked for a possible axis change
(in function_base.py)
iii. On this list it has been emphasized that
        a. the entire Numeric namespace is imported, and
        b. SciPy probably intends to implement a consistent
           convention for axis specification, suggesting an
           unknown number of overrides as time goes by

Look, I'm just a user, and a newbie at that.  I only offered
my view because the developers seem to be interested in
what will make SciPy easy for newbies.  So I thought it
might be useful to hear from a user who got tripped up by
the default axis change.  (Fortunately, it was not serious.)
I have had my say, and I should shut up now.

> My position is that cumsum() should remain as it is, but
> it and all other changes to Numeric's behaviours should be
> documented. To that end, I've started a wiki page.
> http://www.scipy.org/wikis/accessible_scipy/NumericCompatibility

As a user, I will find this very useful.  If you agree, I
will add cumprod to this list, although it is not
technically an override.  Perhaps a "false friends" category
is needed.

Thank you,
Alan Isaac

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