[Numpy-discussion] Why ndarray provides four ways to flatten?

Stephan Hoyer shoyer at gmail.com
Tue Oct 28 13:42:36 EDT 2014

On Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 10:25 AM, Nathaniel Smith <njs at pobox.com> wrote:

> I too would be curious to know why .flat exists (beyond "it seemed like a
> good idea at the time" ;-)). I've always treated it as some weird legacy
> thing and ignored it, and this has worked out well for me.
> Is there any real problem where .flat is really the best solution? Should
> we deprecate it, or at least warn people off from it officially?
> .flat lets you iterate over all elements of a N-dimensional array as if it
was 1D, without ever needing to make a copy of the array. In contrast,
ravel() and reshape(-1) cannot always avoid a copy, because they need to
return another ndarray.

np.nditer is a reasonable alternative to .flat (and it's documented as
such), but it's a rather inelegant, kitchen-sink type function.
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