[Numpy-discussion] Response to PEP suggestions
Colin J. Williams
cjw at sympatico.ca
Sat Feb 19 05:45:28 EST 2005
konrad.hinsen at laposte.net wrote:
> On 18.02.2005, at 23:45, Travis Oliphant wrote:
>> While open to the idea for Python 3000, Guido does not seem
>> favorable to the idea for Python 2.X The problem, Guido mentions was
>> that float-like objects can convert to ints by truncation and he
>> doesn't want to allow floats to be used as indexes. He feels it
>> would break too much code.
> I can agree with that. Basically the problem is the type hierarchy
> that is too simple (but many if not most programming language suffer
> from that problem). Type conversions are all handled in the same way,
> which doesn't give enough flexibility. But we won't change that of
>> Of course underneath, a is not an array of integers (it is an array
>> of homogeneous c-ints converted from the Python integer and so why
>> should a be a Python integer).
> That would basically mean to change the status of arrays from
> generalized sequence objects to something different. Why not, but
> then this should be made clear to the programmer, in particular by
> having a different printed representation for rank-0 arrays and
> scalars. It also means adding some conversion functions, e.g. for
> extracting a Python Object from a rank-0 Python Object array.
> Still, I am worried about two aspects:
> 1) The amount of confusion this generates among users. The
> distinction between scalars and rank-0 arrays has no utility for the
> programmer, it exists only for implementation and political reasons.
> I am not looking forward to explaining this in my Python courses for
If we consider an array as a sequence of objects of a fixed type,
numeric or other, it makes sense that when a single object is returned
then an object of that type be returned, coverted if necessary for Int8
etc. Returning a zero rank array is an historical pain.
It might make sense if all traditional Python objects were of zero rank
I can see no merit in that.
> 2) Compatibility with existing code. I am not sure I will convert my
> code to such conventions any time soon, because it requires
> inspecting every single indexing operation in its particular context
> to see if the index could be a rank-0 integer array. There is no way
> to spot those cases by textual analysis. So this change could reduce
> acceptance to the point where there is no interest in pursuing the
> project any more.
I thought that the intent of Numeric 3 was to produce the best - a new
start, without being overly concerned about compatibility.
I was glad to see the proposal to abandon "ravel" ( a hangover from
APL?). Words should have a clear generally accepted meaning. For
"ravel" dictionary.com offers:
1. To separate the fibers or threads of (cloth, for example);
2. To clarify by separating the aspects of.
3. To tangle or complicate.
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