I gave two counterexamples of why.

The examples you gave aren't counterexamples. See below... On Wed, May 19, 2010 at 7:06 PM, Darren Dale <dsdale24@gmail.com> wrote:

On Wed, May 19, 2010 at 4:19 PM, <josef.pktd@gmail.com> wrote:

On Wed, May 19, 2010 at 4:08 PM, Darren Dale <dsdale24@gmail.com> wrote:

I have a question about creation of numpy arrays from a list of objects, which bears on the Quantities project and also on masked arrays:

import quantities as pq import numpy as np a, b = 2*pq.m,1*pq.s np.array([a, b]) array([ 12., 1.])

Why doesn't that create an object array? Similarly:

Consider the use case of a person creating a 1-D numpy array:

np.array([12.0, 1.0]) array([ 12., 1.])

How is python supposed to tell the difference between

np.array([a, b]) and np.array([12.0, 1.0]) ?

It can't, and there are plenty of times when one wants to explicitly initialize a small numpy array with a few discrete variables.

m = np.ma.array([1], mask=[True]) m masked_array(data = [--], mask = [ True], fill_value = 999999)

np.array([m]) array([[1]])

Again, this is expected behavior. Numpy saw an array of an array, therefore, it produced a 2-D array. Consider the following:

np.array([[12, 4, 1], [32, 51, 9]])

I, as a user, expect numpy to create a 2-D array (2 rows, 3 columns) from that array of arrays.

This has broader implications than just creating arrays, for example:

np.sum([m, m]) 2 np.sum([a, b]) 13.0

If you wanted sums from each object, there are some better (i.e., more clear) ways to go about it. If you have a predetermined number of numpy-compatible objects, say a, b, c, then you can explicitly call the sum for each one:

a_sum = np.sum(a) b_sum = np.sum(b) c_sum = np.sum(c)

Which I think communicates the programmer's intention better than (for a numpy array, x, composed of a, b, c):

object_sums = np.sum(x) # <--- As a numpy user, I would expect a scalar out of this, not an array

If you have an arbitrary number of objects (which is what I suspect you have), then one could easily produce an array of sums (for a list, x, of numpy-compatible objects) like so:

object_sums = [np.sum(anObject) for anObject in x]

Performance-wise, it should be no more or less efficient than having numpy somehow produce an array of sums from a single call to sum. Readability-wise, it makes more sense because when you are treating objects separately, a *list* of them is more intuitive than a numpy.array, which is more-or-less treated as a single mathematical entity. I hope that addresses your concerns. Ben Root