[PYTHON MATRIX-SIG] Final conventions for alpha2

Michael McLay mclay@eeel.nist.gov
Fri, 16 Aug 96 14:57:25 GMT

Konrad HINSEN writes:
 > > After reading all of the discussion over what are the appropriate axes
 > > for the various operations, I've become convinced that there is no
 > > obvious choice.  Therefore I think it is really important to have a
 > > single default axis so that at least people will only have one rule to
 > > remember.
 > I'd rather remember a more complicated rule than type explicit axis
 > specifications for almost every function!
 > > Because I can't possibly conceive of doing "fft" and its ilk with a
 > > default axis other than -1, every function in NumPy will have a default
 > > axis of -1 (or -2 for matrix operations).  This currently includes all
 > Could it be that you have a special bias for FFT? I don't consider
 > FFTs so fundamental that they should set the default for all
 > array functions. Statistically most functions would best have
 > a default of 0, those that should have another default are the
 > exceptions.

Let me qualify this by saying I'm not entirely sure I understand the
definition of axis.  I guess that qualifies me as a novice user.
For a novice user making the default -1 would not be as intuitive as
making it 0. Also, since Konrad seems to think that the majority of
functions would use 0 as the default, then perhaps that should be the
default value.  

I still favor keeping the rule simple and requiring an explicit value
for changing axis to something other than the default.  

I suppose asking you to change the default to something other than
what you use the most would be a good test of the irritation factor of
having to always specify the axis.  If you are not willing to type
axis=-1 in every function, then perhaps keeping a simple rule is not
the correct tradeoff.


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