[Numpy-discussion] Latest Array-Interface PEP

Christopher Barker Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
Fri Jan 12 18:02:07 EST 2007

Gael Varoquaux wrote:
> Yes, indeed. I was just wondering if the PEP could be used for a
> performant implementation of trees.

That would be a whole new PEP, and one we're not the least bit ready for.

> Basicaly that is mapping a tree to an
> array, which is possible.

Possible, but probably not very useful for dense data -- maybe for 
sparse arrays?

The idea of an array API, rather than (actually in addition to) and 
array data structure is fabulous! It could be used for sparse arrays, 
for instance.

I do think it's a topic for another PEP, and probably not even a PEP 
until we have at least some working code - maybe a sparse array and/or 
PIL image?

> So at what level do we propose the API.  Single-item 
> access for sure, but  what about
> array_interface->get_block_from_slice() ?

I think a slicing API is critical -- at least at the Python level, 
though at the C level is would sure be nice, and probably could allow 
for some good optimizations for getting a "block" of data out of some 
odd data structure.

"Simple is better than complex."

"Although practicality beats purity."

"Now is better than never."

Tells me that we should just focus on the array data structure for the 
PEP now.


Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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