[Numpy-discussion] Proposal of new function: iteraxis()

Robert Kern robert.kern at gmail.com
Thu Apr 25 15:10:32 EDT 2013

On Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 6:54 PM, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> On Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 10:42 AM, Robert Kern <robert.kern at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 6:30 PM, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett at gmail.com> wrote:

>>> So the decision has to be based on some estimate of:
>>> 1) Cost for adding a new function to the namespace
>>> 2) Benefit : some combination of: Likelihood of needing to iterate
>>> over arbitrary axis. Likelihood of not finding rollaxis / transpose as
>>> a solution to this. Increased likelihood of finding iteraxis in this
>>> situation.
>> 3) Comparison with other solutions that might obtain the same benefits
>> without the attendant costs: i.e. additional documentation in any
>> number of forms.
> Right, good point.  That would also need to be weighted with the
> likelihood that people will find and read that documentation.

In my opinion, duplicating functionality under different aliases just
so people can supposedly find things without reading the documentation
is not a viable strategy for building out an API.

My suggestion is to start building out a "How do I ...?" section to
the User's Guide that answers small questions like this. "How do I
iterate over an arbitrary axis of an array?" should be sufficiently
discoverable. This is precisely the kind of problem that documentation
solves better than anything else. This is what we write documentation
for. Let's make use of it before trying something else. If we add such
a section, and still see many people not finding it, then we can
consider adding aliases.

Robert Kern

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