[Python-Dev] number-sig anyone?

Paul Prescod paulp@ActiveState.com
Thu, 26 Jul 2001 12:52:29 -0700

Skip Montanaro wrote:
> By "right" I mean that we can arrive at a long-term stable numeric model
> that will be accepted by both the Python community as a whole *and* by the
> decision makers who will vote thumbs up or down on adopting Python in their
> organizations. 

But I don't think that there is any numeric model that will be accepted
by the whole Python community. Some will like any change and some will
dislike it. Likely there will appear to be equal numbers on either side
of any issue because each flame is answered by one or more

> By having a well-considered overall plan for Python's numeric behavior, if
> you have to make an incompatible change today, another next year and a third
> two years after that, you can point to the plan that shows people where
> you're headed, how you plan to get there, and how they can write their
> programs in the meantime so as to be as resilient as possible. 

I'm not a against such a plan but I don't think it can be designed in a
committee. It would be largely the vision of one or two like-minded
people with the same weighting of factors such as performance, ease of
use, backwards compatibility and so forth. If you put an
representation-obsessed engineer in the same committee with a
purity-obsessed mathematician you'll find that the only thing they can
agree on is to disagree.
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