[Numpy-discussion] Latest Array-Interface PEP

Travis Oliphant oliphant at ee.byu.edu
Fri Jan 5 10:55:00 EST 2007

Neal Becker wrote:

>    Several extensions to Python utilize the buffer protocol to share
>    the location of a data-buffer that is really an N-dimensional
>    array.  However, there is no standard way to exchange the
>    additional N-dimensional array information so that the data-buffer
>    is interpreted correctly.
>I am questioning if this is the best concept.  It says that the data-buffer
>will carry the information about it's interpretation as an N-dimensional
>I'm thinking that a buffer is just an interface to memory, and that the
>interpretation as an array of n-dimensions, for example, is best left to
>the application.  I might want to at one time view the data as
>n-dimensional, but at another time as 1-dimensional, for example.
The simple data-buffer interpretation is still there.   You can still 
use simple "chunk-of-memory" only interpretation of the buffer.  All we 
are doing is adding a way for applications to ask if the object can be 
interpreted as a strided N-dimensional array of a particular data-format.

So, this proposal does nothing to jeopardize the 
buffer-as-an-interface-to-memory only model.   I'm only using a table of 
funciton pointers which is already there (tp_as_buffer) rather than 
request an additional table of function pointers on the type object 
(tp_as_array).  I see the array view idea as fitting very nicely with 
the buffer protocol.


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