[Numpy-discussion] Numeric3

konrad.hinsen at laposte.net konrad.hinsen at laposte.net
Mon Feb 7 11:41:16 EST 2005

On 07.02.2005, at 17:37, Ralf Juengling wrote:

> No, the idea behind using function calls rather than method calls
> is actually a little more than just a difference in syntax. It
> allows for a generic implementation that works in all cases of
> reasonable input, that is, it also works in cases where no efficient
> implementation is provided by the input object. A simple example:

True, but only due to the "add-on" character of arrays in Python. If 
arrays had been part of the initial design, we would most certainly 
have type promotion from lists to arrays in the same way as we have 
type promotion from float to complex.

Note also that this approach is anything but modular or extendable. If 
several modules went that way, they would not be interoperable (which 
is in part the problem with the numpy/numarray split).

There is also a glaring hole in the OO approach in that there is no way 
to add functionality (methods) to an existing object. The only solution 
is subclassing, but then all object creators need to be changed to 
those for the subclass, which is not practical. Unlike other OO 
languages, Python makes it possible to add methods to existing classes, 
but this always looks like a bad hack.


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