[Numpy-discussion] Created NumPy 1.7.x branch

Travis Oliphant travis at continuum.io
Mon Jun 25 23:04:02 EDT 2012

On Jun 25, 2012, at 9:38 PM, Fernando Perez wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 6:39 PM, Travis Oliphant <travis at continuum.io> wrote:
>> On Jun 25, 2012, at 7:21 PM, Fernando Perez wrote:
>> For context, consider that for many years, the word "gratuitous" has been used in a non-derogatory way in the Python ecosystem to describe changes to semantics and syntax that don't have benefits significant enough to offset the pain it will cause to existing users.    That's why I used the word.   I am not trying to be derogatory.   I am trying to be clear that we need to respect existing users of NumPy more than we have done from 1.5 to 1.7 in the enthusiasm to make changes.
> For reference, here's the (long) thread where this came to be:
> http://mail.scipy.org/pipermail/scipy-dev/2009-October/012958.html
> It's worth noting that at the time, the discussion was for an addition
> to *scipy*, not to numpy.  I don't know when things were moved over to
> numpy.

Yes, it's also worth noting the discussion took place on the SciPy list.   The fact that NumPy decisions were made on the SciPy mailing list is not a pattern we should repeat.    While the two communities have overlap, they are not the same.  It is important to remind ourselves of this (especially those of us who feel at home in both). 

From that thread, I wish that ideas of Anne and David had been listened to instead of just dismissed out of hand, like was done.   Anne suggested putting the polynomial class in SciPy (where there would have been less consternation about the coefficient order change --- although many seem to really want to ingore the entire Controls and LTI-system communities where the other convention is common).   David suggested allowing both orders to be specified.     That is still a good idea in my view. 

Thanks for doing the research to bring the thread up again.   
> I just want to note that I'm not advocating for *any*
> backwards-compatibility breakage in numpy at this point... I was just
> providing context for a discussion that happened back in 2009, and in
> the scipy list.  I certainly feel pretty strongly at this point about
> the importance of preserving working code *today*, given the role of
> numpy at the 'root node' of the scipy ecosystem tree and the size of
> said tree.

Thank you for re-iterating that position.     The polynomial order question is moot at this point.  It's not going to change.   We just need to also keep maintaining poly1d's interface. 


> Best,
> f
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