[SciPy-User] HDF4, HDF5, netcdf solutions -- PyNIO/PyNGL or CDAT or ??

Francesc Alted faltet@pytables....
Mon Nov 1 17:59:26 CDT 2010

A Monday 01 November 2010 23:13:56 Zachary Pincus escrigué:
> Ack -- I didn't mean to set off a big back and forth! I'd only wanted
> to convey that h5py and pytables seem to serve different purposes:
> one a "simple and thin" pythonic wrapper around the official hdf5
> libraries, and the other seeking to provide some value-add on top of
> that.

I think the above is a good way to express the main difference between 
h5py and PyTables.  But, unfortunately, many wrong beliefs about 
packages that are similar in functionality extend in Internet without a 
solid reason behind them.  I suppose this is a consequence of the 
propagation of information in multi-user channels.  Unfortunately, 
fighting these myths is not always easy.

> I guess I got something of the rationale for using h5py over pytables
> wrong -- but there is some rationale, right? What is that?

As you said above, both PyTables and h5py serve similar purposes in 
different ways, and expressing a simple rational on using one or another 
is not that easy.  If you just need HDF5 compatibility, then h5py 
*might* be enough for you.  If you want more advanced functionality, 
*might* be PyTables can offer it to you.  Also, people may like the API 
of one package better than the other.  And some people may not like the 
fact that there exist a Pro version of PyTables (although others may 
appreciate it).

Frankly, I think the best rational here is more a matter of trying out 
the different packages and choose the one you like the most.  This is 
one of the beauties of free software: easy trying.

Francesc Alted

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