[Numpy-discussion] typecodes in numarray

Todd Miller jmiller at stsci.edu
Fri Jan 24 14:01:31 EST 2003

Paul F Dubois wrote:

>I don't understand this remark:
><snip >but I am making an argument that perhaps 
>>numarray should only go so far in the support of what I regard as an 
>>obsolescent feature.  If the Numeric developers choose to continue 
>>extending the use of typecodes in ways that are incompatible with 
>>numarray,  one way of dealing with it is to "just say no".  
>>We are going 
>>beyond the scope of backwards compatability to on-going compatabilty. 
>>(Which we may still have to do but needs to be discussed and 
>There is no "on-going" Numeric development. It stops the minute numarray is
>ready. Period. We developers all agreed on that. The whole reason for
>numarray is that Numeric was pronounced unmaintainable and unextendable by
>those who frequently had to work on it. To do anything else will fragment
>the entire numerical python community and software set.
Thanks for clarifying Paul.   My point didn't quite come out right.   A 
better way to put it might have been:

1. Numarray and Numeric are subject to accidental divergence.  As long 
as they both continue to change concurrently,  they will probably differ 
even in interface.  Because numarray isn't quite ready yet,  they are 
both still changing.

2. Typecodes in particular are something numarray is superceding with 
something better.  Because of this, providing on-going compatability 
with Numeric typecodes may not make sense.  

3. Numeric compatability is not the only driver for the choice of 
recarray typecodes so I can't make arbitrary changes without affecting 
other software and people.

4. I think there's a clearer,  numarray type object based approach to 
describing recarray formats which does not use typecodes at all.  Thus, 
 instead of attampting to weed through and unify layers of conflicting 
type codes,  we might be able to end-run the whole problem with an 
alternative approach.


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