# [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.
Michael
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