[Numpy-discussion] Created NumPy 1.7.x branch

Benjamin Root ben.root at ou.edu
Mon Jun 25 13:55:25 EDT 2012

On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 1:41 PM, Travis Oliphant <travis at continuum.io>wrote:

>> C was famous for bugs due to the lack of function prototypes. This was
>> fixed with C99 and the stricter typing was a great help.
>> Bugs are not "due to lack of function prototypes".  Bugs are due to
>> mistakes that programmers make (and I know all about mistakes programmers
>> make).  Function prototypes can help detect some kinds of mistakes which is
>> helpful.   But, this doesn't help the question of how to transition a
>> weakly-typed program or whether or not that is even a useful exercise.
> Oh, come on. Writing correct C code used to be a guru exercise. A friend
> of mine, a Putnam fellow, was the Weitek guru for drivers. To say bugs are
> programmer mistakes is information free, the question is how to minimize
> programmer mistakes.
> Bugs *are* programmer mistakes.   Let's put responsibility where it lies.
>   Of course, writing languages that help programmers make fewer mistakes
> (or catch them earlier when they do) are a good thing.    I'm certainly not
> arguing against that.
> But, I reiterate that just because a better way to write new code under
> some metric is discovered or understood does not mean that all current code
> should be re-written to use that style.   That's the only comment I'm
> making.
> Also, you mention the lessons from Python 2 and Python 3, but I'm not sure
> we would agree on what those lessons actually were, so I wouldn't rely on
> that as a way of getting your point across if it matters.
> Best,
> -Travis
At the risk of starting a language flame war, my take of Charles' comment
about the lessons of python 3.0 is its success in getting packages
transitioned smoothly (still an on-going process), versus what happened
with Perl 5.  Perl 5 was a major change that happened all at once and
no-one adopted it for the longest time.  Meanwhile, python incremented
itself from the 2.x series to the 3.x series in a very nice manner with a
well-thought-out plan that was visible to all.

At least, that is my understanding and perception. Take it with as much
salt as you (or your doctor) desires.

Ben Root
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