[Numpy-discussion] bug or feature?

Perry Greenfield perry at stsci.edu
Mon Jul 11 12:24:24 EDT 2005

On Jul 11, 2005, at 2:38 PM, Curzio Basso wrote:

>> An array used as an index produces a new copy (if you think about it,
>> given the  possibilities, there isn't much else that can be done). So
>> the entity on the left of your expression is modified, but since
>> nothing refers to it, it is discarded immediately thereafter. The 
>> array
>> 'a' itself was never changed. I'd say that it isn't either a bug or
>> feature.
> ok. on the other hand:
>>>> a[[0,2],0] = 1
>>>> print a
> array([[ 1,  1,  2,  3],
>        [ 4,  5,  6,  7],
>        [ 1,  9, 10, 11]])
> I have some problem understanding the difference at the implementation
> level between the two cases. I would have assumed that at end they
> would operate on a similar way...
> curzio

I was sloppy in my description. For array indexing, assignment does 
modify the original array (as your case above illustrates), but once 
you sliced the array-indexed array, it changed the context of the 
indexing. I.e., (to take a simpler, 1-d array x)

x[[0,2]] = 1  # modifies x

This form results in __setitem__ being called on x

x[[0,2]][:4] = 1  # doesn't modify x

This form results in __getitem__ being called on x (and thus producing 
a new copy of the array) for the array indexing and __setitem__ being 
called for the slice. At least that's what I think is happening. Todd 
or someone more recently familiar with how Python handles this can 
correct me if I'm wrong.


More information about the NumPy-Discussion mailing list