[SciPy-dev] rules for api and doc changes

John Travers jtravs at gmail.com
Thu Oct 12 12:32:24 CDT 2006

Hi all,
I've been following the scipy/numpy lists for about half a year and
have submitted 4 patches for various things - and I plan on sending in
a lot more.

I have a couple of questions about rules for submission that I'd like
to ask for comments from everyone. I hope this turns into a useful

1. What are the rules for api changes in scipy? (I know numpy is close
to 1.0 release, so I guess none are allowed there).

For example, I've been looking at the interpolate module and it seems
to me that some renaming of classes in fitpack2 would be very useful
to make things logical/intuitive (esp with expansion), but any changes
will brake code. Do we leave everything as is for backwards
compatibility or can I submit patches that change something which
seems reasonable? (ending after, say, scipy 1.0)

The key change being that most of scipy.interpolate is actually for
fitting smoothing splines rather than interpolation (which took me a
while to understand) - surely it would be logical to have say
scipy.spline (with all the spline related stuff) and then
scipy.interpolate with just the interpolation classes (which could ref
the spline module).

2. What about changing docstrings when you are not the original author?

3. When is it OK to include the full source of a package rather than
depend on a library.

I'm thinking here with respect to an earlier post I made about
regridding data. There is a package called Qhull which does this and
is used by MATLAB etc. which has a scipy compat license (I think). The
chances are than very few users will have it, and it is not too big,
so could it be included? Or is this frowned upon?

I have some more questions, but I guess this is enough for starters.
Any comments would be most appreciated.

Best regards,
John Travers

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