[Numpy-discussion] Latest Array-Interface PEP

Travis Oliphant oliphant at ee.byu.edu
Fri Jan 5 10:56:21 EST 2007

Charles R Harris wrote:

> On 1/5/07, *Stefan van der Walt* <stefan at sun.ac.za 
> <mailto:stefan at sun.ac.za>> wrote:
>     On Fri, Jan 05, 2007 at 09:38:49AM -0500, 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
>     > array.
>     >
>     > 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.
>     You can always choose to ignore that information if you don't need it.
>     On the other hand, if you *do* need it, how would you otherwise
>     interpret an N-dimensional array, given only a buffer?
> I think Neal is suggesting some object that basically does nothing but 
> hold a pointer(s) to memory. This memory can be used in various ways, 
> one of which is to use it construct another type of object that 
> provides a view with indices and such, i.e., an array. That way the 
> memory isn't tied to arrays and could concievable be used in other 
> ways. The idea is analagous to the data/model/view paradigm. It is a 
> bit cleaner than just ignoring the array parts.

Such an object would be useful.  I would submit that it is what the 
buffer object "should be"

But, we are talking about a different concept here --- the buffer 


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