[SciPy-dev] poll for renaming scipy_core online

Fernando Perez Fernando.Perez at colorado.edu
Mon Jan 2 18:00:00 CST 2006

Andrew Straw wrote:

> I just wanted to make sure the situation was clear to all. I found it
> potentially confusing that scipy.distutils and scipy.f2py would become
> part of the new package.
> I think it is worth reiterating why distutils and f2py are included with
> the new base package and not full scipy: As far as I can tell (correct
> me if I'm wrong), distutils is included because it does a lot of nice
> auto-detection of atlas, mkl, acml, and vecLib. Those packages are
> linked into the base array package (rather than lapack_lite) where
> possible. (This same issue is currently also the most challenging aspect
> of installing Numeric or numarray, so the situation doesn't go away if
> we, hypothetically speaking, shifted to Python distutils.) f2py's
> reasons for inclusion aren't so clear to me, but as it's pure Python, I
> don't mind its inclusion.

I see the f2py/distutils inclusion into numerix as serving two benefits:

1. It simplifies the scipy bootstrapping.  Installing scipy from source will 
'just work' (yeah, right :), given that it can assume that 
numerix.{f2py,distutils} are always there.  No need to play path tricks to 
find them from within the install directory itself.

It's quite possible that this bootstrapping issue is already well solved and 
doesn't really matter, I'm not too familiar with the most current internals, 
so correct me if I'm wrong.

2. It increases the value of numerix as a base layer for third-party 
scientific packages.  I think authors will appreciate getting a few really 
good utilities for writing python scientific software, without making the full 
scipy a dependency.

Weave (I think) also falls into this category, but its maintenance difficulty 
seems to tilt the decision in the direction of moving it to full scipy.  I 
wish I could commit to maintaining it in numerix, but I really can't, and I 
understand Travis' desire to have numerix be a rock-solid, no-hassles-to-adopt 
foundation.  It would be fantastic if someone with a C++ penchant wanted to 
pick this ball up.

Just my take on it.



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