[Numpy-discussion] Numeric 24.0

Fernando Perez Fernando.Perez at colorado.edu
Tue Apr 5 22:43:33 EDT 2005

Travis Oliphant wrote:
> Michiel Jan Laurens de Hoon wrote:

>>But SciPy has been moving away (e.g. by replacing functions by methods). 
> Michiel, you seem to want to create this impression that "SciPy" is 
> "moving away."  I'm not sure of your motivations.   But, since this is a 
> public forum, I have to restate emphatically, that "SciPy" is not 
> "moving away from Numeric."  It is all about bringing together the 
> communities.  For the 5 years that scipy has been in development, it has 
> always been about establishing a library of common routines that we 
> could all share.   It has built on Numeric from the beginning.  Now, 
> there is another "library" of routines that is developing around 
> numarray.  It is this very real break that I'm trying to help fix.   I 
> have no other "desire" to "move away" or "create a break"  or any other 
> such notions that you seem to want to spread.   

FWIW, I think you (Travis) have been exceedingly clear in explaining this 
process, and in pointing out how this is:

a) NOT a further split, but rather the EXACT OPPOSITE (numarray users will 
have a transition path back into a project which will provide the best of the 
old Numeric, along with all the critical enhancements which Perry, Todd et al. 
added to numarray).

b) a way, via the array protocol, to provide third-party low-level libraries 
an easy way to, AT THE C LEVEL, interact easily and efficiently (without 
unnecessary copies) with numeri* arrays.

I fail to see where Michiel gets his split/Trojan horse arguments, or what 
line of reasoning can connect your detailed explanations with such a 
conclusion.  In particular, the comments on the whole 'trojan' issue seem to 
me absolutely unfounded.  Nobody in their sane mind will use this protocol to 
invent a scipy.base competitor, which most likely would end up (if done right) 
  being simply a copy.  What it provides is a minimal, compact, low-level API 
which will be a huge boon for interoperability with things like PIL, WX or 
other simliar libraries.  This protocol has been extensively debated, and 
Scott's extensive comments have made this discussion a very productive one 
(along with the help of others, of course).  I can only see this as a GREAT 
step forward for numerical python support and reliability 'in the wild'.

I hesitated to send this message, but since you (Travis) have sunk an enormous 
amount of your time into this effort, which I can only applaud and rejoice in, 
I figure the least I can do is contribute a little to dispel some unnecessary 
confusion.  Users with less knowledge of the details may become afraid of 
using Python for scientific computing by reading Michiel's comments, which I 
think would be a shame.

Michiel, please note that none of what I said is meant to be a personal 
attack.  I simply feel it is necessary to clarify, in no uncertain terms, how 
your recent comments of impending doom are unfounded.

Best to all, and again thanks to Travis for this much needed hard work,


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