[Numpy-discussion] Proposal to accept NEP-18, __array_function__ protocol

Charles R Harris charlesr.harris at gmail.com
Sun Sep 2 15:08:03 EDT 2018

On Sun, Sep 2, 2018 at 12:58 PM Charles R Harris <charlesr.harris at gmail.com>

> On Wed, Aug 1, 2018 at 6:27 PM Stephan Hoyer <shoyer at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I propose to accept NEP-18, "A dispatch mechanism for NumPy’s high level
>> array functions":
>> http://www.numpy.org/neps/nep-0018-array-function-protocol.html
>> Since the last round of discussion, we added a new section on "Callable
>> objects generated at runtime" clarifying that to handle such objects is out
>> of scope for the initial proposal in the NEP.
>> If there are no substantive objections within 7 days from this email,
>> then the NEP will be accepted; see NEP 0 for more details.
> Skipping over all the discussion following this for brevity. I find myself
> in general agreement with Stephan and think we should go ahead and merge
> this. A few points:
>    1. I don't think we should have an opt in environment variable, just
>    put `__array_function__` out there with the understanding that it might
>    change with experience. I don't think scores, let alone thousands, of folks
>    are going to rush to take advantage of this, most likely the developers of
>    the proposal will be the early adopters.
>    2. I have a preference for implementing high level functions rather
>    than low level, and fewer rather than more, with the choice driven by need.
>    I think that will limit the amount of interdependence tangle and, in the
>    long run, might serve to define an unofficial NumPy API.
>    3. NumPy cannot manage all the projects that make use of the new
>    option to keep them in sync, we have neither the time nor experience to do
>    so, and historic attempts along those lines tended to die in obscurity. To
>    the extent that we do so, it comes down to 2.
>    4. I don't think this conflicts with Nathaniel's proposal, the main
>    disagreement seems to over how to proceed and the selection of functions,
>    see 2.
>    5. The `__array_function_types__` idea looks interesting.
We might want to add an 'Experimental' status for NEPs, meaning accepted
but subject to modification.

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