[Numpy-discussion] Some comments on the Numeric3 Draft of 1-Mar-05

Travis Oliphant oliphant at ee.byu.edu
Thu Mar 3 11:41:24 EST 2005

Colin J. Williams wrote:

> My understanding was that there was to be a new builtin 
> multiarray/Array class/type which eventually would replace the 
> existing array.ArrayType.  Thus, for a time at least, there would be 
> at least one new class/type.

The new type will actually be in the standard library.   For backwards 
compatibility we will not be replacing the existing array.ArrayType but 
providing an additional ndarray.ndarray (or some such name -- the name 
hasn't been finalized yet).

> In addition, it seemed to be proposed that the new class/type would 
> not just be Array but Array_with_Int32, Array_with_Float64 etc..  I'm 
> not too clear on this latter point but Konrad says that there would 
> not be this multiplicity of basic class/type's.

The arrays have always been homogeneous collections of "something".  
This 'something' has been indicated by typecodes characters (Numeric) or 
Python classes (numarray).  The proposal is that the "something" that 
identifies what the homogeneous arrays are collections of will be actual 
type objects.    Some of these type objects are just "organizational 
types" which help to classify the different kinds of homogeneous 
arrays.   The "leaf-node" types are also the types of new Python scalars 
that act as a transition layer between ndarrays with their variety of 
objects and traditional Python bool, int, float, complex, string, and 
unicode objects which do not "understand" that they could be considered 
as 0-dimensional arrays.


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