[Numpy-discussion] Numeric3

Perry Greenfield perry at stsci.edu
Fri Feb 4 12:01:38 EST 2005

On Feb 4, 2005, at 2:19 PM, Travis Oliphant wrote:

> konrad.hinsen at laposte.net wrote:
>> On 04.02.2005, at 05:14, Michiel Jan Laurens de Hoon wrote:
>>> give you an example from my own field (computational biology). I am  
>>> one of the maintainers of Biopython, which uses LinearAlgebra and  
>>> RandomArray. Many of our users are not very familiar with Python. 
>>> Even  installing Numerical Python sometimes causes problems, and I'm 
>>> sure we  have lost users in the past because of that. SciPy, in my 
>>> experience,
>> My experience with users of MMTK, nMOLDYN, and DomainFinder is 
>> exactly  the same. Installationproblems are the #1 source for support 
>>  questions, in particular under Windows and Irix.
> O.K.   I can see that there are several out there who belive that 
> SciPy is sufficiently hard to install that they are concerned about 
> requiring it for their math-using packages (despite the provided 
> binary distributions, and the work that continues on making it easier 
> to install).   I'm
This sort of leads back to the original point, that is, putting 
something in the Python Standard Library. I suspect that for most 
scientists and engineers if they have to install anything extra at all 
to use arrays practially, they really don't care if it is in the core 
or not. The current Numeric (or numarray) is a fairly straightforward 
install now and if the issue is having users avoid this extra install, 
putting a reduced functionality array package in the core is not going 
to address this issue. On the other hand, it is likely to have the 
general Python community more likely to use arrays as an interchange 
format, which is a separate benefit (a point I stressed at the last 
scipy conference).

In other words, we should be clear about what should go into the core 
and what the sought-after benefit is. I don't think that has been done 
yet. If scipy is to be the solution for all scientists and engineers, 
why should Numeric (or numarray) go into the core? They still will have 
to install scipy (or some extra package) anyway.


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