[Numpy-discussion] numpy.filled, again

Pierre GM pgmdevlist at gmail.com
Wed Jun 12 08:31:34 EDT 2013

Pierre GM
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On June 12, 2013 at 14:10:27, Nathaniel Smith (njs at pobox.com) wrote:
Hi all,  

It looks like we've gotten a bit confused and need to untangle  
something. There's a PR to add new functions 'np.filled' and  
And there was a discussion about this on the list back in January:  

I think a reasonable summary of the opinions in the thread are:  
- This functionality is great, ...  
- ...but we can't call it 'np.filled' because there's also  
'np.ma.filled' which does something else...  

I don't think this is a problem, is it? Different namespaces

Personally I think that overloading np.empty is horribly ugly, will  
continue confusing newbies and everyone else indefinitely, and I'm  
100% convinced that we'll regret implementing such a warty interface  
for something that should be so idiomatic. (Unfortunately I got busy  
and didn't actually say this in the previous thread though.) So I  
think we should just merge the PR as is. The only downside is the  
np.ma inconsistency, but, np.ma is already inconsistent (cf.  
masked_array.fill versus masked_array.filled!), somewhat deprecated,  

in np.ma, `.fill` is directly inherited of ndarray: *all* the elements are replaced by some value. `.filled` is completely different beast, replacing *only the masked entries* by a filling value. The name `.filled` was kept for backward compatibility with the original implementation (we're talking pre 1.2, the one inherited from numarray)

and AFAICT there are far more people who will benefit from a clean  
np.filled idiom than who actually use np.ma (and in particular its  
fill-value functionality). So there would be two  
bad-but-IMHO-acceptable options: either live with an inconsistency  
between np.filled and np.ma.filled, or deprecate np.ma.filled in favor  
of masked_array.filled (which does exactly the same thing) and  
eventually switch np.ma.filled to be consistent with the new  

But, that's just my opinion.  

Not that I have any strong opinion about that, but the inconsistency looks better (less worse) to me than changing the behaviour of `np.ma.filled`. After all, the name of the function says it all: it fills the holes in a masked array. Anyhow, given my level of involvement these days (month/years), I'll go along a consensus
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