[SciPy-dev] Renaming fftpack to fft, removing backends

Jarrod Millman millman@berkeley....
Fri Oct 31 14:50:30 CDT 2008

On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 12:25 PM, Robert Kern <robert.kern@gmail.com> wrote:
>> We're not at 1.0 yet, so we need to allow for some leeway in adjusting
>> the package to have the best possible layout.  The sooner we sort
>> these things out, the sooner we'll have an API worth freezing.
> That has never been scipy's policy.

It may not have been the 'official' policy, but I think that it is
what a fair number of people including (it seems) Stefan, David, and
myself believed was the policy.  I think a large number of people view
the 1.0 release of any project as a dividing line (arbitrary or not).
Furthermore, the development status of scipy has been advertised as
"Beta" for as long as I can remember:

Most importantly, scipy has the feel of an unfinished project.
Documentation, naming, calling conventions, and many other aspects of
it highlight its nature as a work in progress.  We need to come to
some agreement, I think, as how to proceed with the API changes that
we need to make and what the official policy for moving toward a 1.0
release should be.  Maybe we need to change the release numbers to
include some indication that the software is still rapidly evolving.
Personally, I am fine with using the pre-1.0 numbering to signify
this; but I am open to other ideas.  At the very least, we need to
decide whether we believe that we need to make significant changes to
the API and how to best convey that this is the case to our users.
Clearly, none of us want to ignore the needs of our users.  But we
need to balance the needs of current users to have relatively stable
dependencies with the needs of future users to have a highly polished,
cleanly designed, and easy to use packages for scientific computing in

Without thinking to hard, I can quickly think of a number of changes
that I would like to see prior to what I would consider a "1.0"
release.  For example, these top-level packages are good candidates, I
believe, for renaming, removing, or reintroducing:
 - scipy.fftpack
 - scipy.linsolv
 - scipy.stsci
 - scipy.misc
 - scipy.lib
 - scipy.ga

There are also a number of other API cleanups that I would like to see
before a 1.0 release.

Thoughts? Ideas?

Jarrod Millman
Computational Infrastructure for Research Labs
10 Giannini Hall, UC Berkeley
phone: 510.643.4014

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