[SciPy-dev] Moving random.py

Travis Oliphant oliphant.travis at ieee.org
Fri Dec 16 06:17:45 CST 2005

Hey Robert.

I temporariliy moved random back under basic for now.  I did this 
because it's really important to me that rand, randn, fft, and ifft are 
in the scipy namespace.   I don't want you to think I'm unsupportive of 
the general changes you are trying to see, though.

While in principle it would be nice to not do any import magic.  There 
are three problems that I'd like to see solved that I think the import 
magic is trying to accomplish:

1) making some names visible in the scipy namespace (like fft, rand, etc.)
2) having some mechanism for scipy_core to use the tools in full scipy 
should it be installed (like svd, for example).
3) having some means to speed up importing. 

I think that there are two views of how scipy should behave that need to 
be resolved.

The first view is where scipy is at right now in that when the user 
imports scipy the whole kit-and-kaboodle gets imported at the same 
time.  This view was developed back when it was envisoned that scipy 
alone would be the MATLAB-like replacement.  I think it is more clear 
now that IPython is better for interactive work and Matplotlib (and 
Enthought's coming tools) are better for plotting, that something else 
should provide the "environment for computing" besides  the simple 
command import scipy.

The second view is that scipy should just be a simple name-space package 
and not try to do any magic.  Users will primarily use scipy for writing 
code and will import the needed functions from the right places. 

Most of what scipy is has been done to support interactive work, so that 
one does not have to do:

import scipy
import scipy.integrate
import scipy.special

in order to get access to the sub-packages.  Perhaps this should be 
re-thought and something like this magic moved to IPython.


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