[Numpy-discussion] A roadmap for NumPy - longer term planning

Ralf Gommers ralf.gommers at gmail.com
Fri Jun 1 00:57:06 EDT 2018

On Thu, May 31, 2018 at 4:50 PM, Matti Picus <matti.picus at gmail.com> wrote:

> At the recent NumPy sprint at BIDS (thanks to those who made the trip) we
> spent some time brainstorming about a roadmap for NumPy, in the spirit of
> similar work that was done for Jupyter. The idea is that a document with
> wide community acceptance can guide the work of the full-time developer(s),
> and be a source of ideas for expanding development efforts.
> I put the document up at https://github.com/numpy/numpy/wiki/NumPy-Roadmap,
> and hope to discuss it at a BOF session during SciPy in the middle of July
> in Austin.

Thanks for writing that up!

> Eventually it could become a NEP or formalized in another way.

A NEP doesn't sound quite right, but moving from wiki to somewhere more
formal and with more control over the contents (e.g. numpy.org or in the
docs) would be useful. A roadmap could/should also include things like
required effort, funding and knowledge/people required.

A couple of comments on the content:
- a mention of stability or backwards compatibility goals under philosophy
would be useful
- the "Could potentially be split out into separate packages..." should be
removed I think - the maskedarray one was already rejected, and the rest
are similarly unhelpful.
- "internal refactorings": MaskedArray yes, but the other ones no.
numpy.distutils and f2py are very hard to test, a big refactor pretty much
guarantees breakage. there's also not much need for refactoring, because
those things are not coupled to the numpy.core internals. numpy.financial
is simply uninteresting - we wish it wasn't there but it is, so now it
simply stays where it is.
- One item that I think is missing under "New functionality" is runtime
switching of backend for numpy.linalg (IIRC discussed on this list before)
and numpy.random (MKL devs are interested in this).

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