[Numpy-discussion] Writing/reading a numeric array to a file

N. Volbers mithrandir42 at web.de
Tue Nov 8 22:31:37 EST 2005

Hello everyone,

I have been using Numeric and/or numarray for a while now and I now I 
have a question concerning the reading and writing data to a file.

Until now I had used pycdf, which is an interface to the netcdf library, 
to save and load my numeric arrays.  However, since my application 
already has too many dependencies, I would like to cut down on these two 
and replace the saving and loading by a method intrinisc to Numeric or 

Pickling is not an alternative to me, because I need to have a 
representation that can be read by other programs (and yet is faster 
than ASCII). NetCDF was a good choice for that, but I would really like 
to not depend on it.

So my questions are:

(1) Are the numarray functions 'fromfile' and 'tofile' 100% portable 
among platforms, i.e. do they automatically recognize endian-ness and such?

(2) Does it make sense to still use numarray? I know Travis would say 
"use scipy_core". However, for me this would provide much unneeded 
functionality and I have not yet found an easy way to install scipy_core 
(it seems to require ATLAS and such, which are not so easy to install if 
you don't have it prepackaged).  And after all, my goal is to cut down 

(3) Let me restate question (2): Will numarray still be maintained? Or 
is it also deprecated?  What would you advice someone who just needs the 
array interface?

And of course,

(4) What solutions do you use to save/load data to files?

I would deeply appreciate any help on this subject,

Niklas Volbers.

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