[Numpy-discussion] Re: Numeric life as I see it

Travis Oliphant oliphant at ee.byu.edu
Thu Feb 10 11:22:30 EST 2005

Chris Barker wrote:

> Travis Oliphant wrote:
>> I personally don't see Numeric3 as in any kind of "need for speed" 
>> camp either. 
> Now I'm confused. As an interested observer, It seems to me that there 
> is only one thing that is keeping users of Numeric from switching to 
> numarray:
> "Performance with many small arrays"
That was the showstopper, but it was just a symptom of the Python-C 
mixture that I would never feel comfortable using as the foundation for 
the basic arrayobject.  There are also lots of little concerns over the 
burgeoning C-API that would make maintainence more difficult.  To me it 
is ironic that people have called Numeric "hackish".  In my view (and 
believe me I mean no disrespect, I know these are challenging problems) 
in comparison to the mix of Python and C code in numarray, Numeric looks 
quite elegant.  Numarray has some nice code in it, don't get me wrong, 
it's just the overall architecture and it's choice of C-API I have 
issues with.

> Another nit: "speed" in not one goal. I understand that one of the 
> goals of numarray was top performance for very large arrays. In fact, 
> it's ironic that someone discovered that it was a safety check in 
> Numeric that was causing it to be slower than Numarray with large arrays.

That was known for a long time, which is why scipy disabled the safety 
check.  I think numarray has a better idea for dealing with checks.  One 
that can easily be borrowed in Numeric3.


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