[Python-Dev] Fwd: summing a bunch of numbers (or "whatevers")

David Ascher davida@ActiveState.com
Sun, 20 Apr 2003 20:28:13 -0700

Tim Peters wrote:

>>There's a bunch of statistics functions (avg or mean, sdev etc.) that
>>should go in a statistics package or module together with more
>>advanced statistics stuff -- it would be a good idea to form a working
>>group or SIG to design such a thing with an eye towards usability,
>>power, and avoiding traps for newbies.
>Very big job, unless you leave the "advanced" stuff out.  Note that there
>are many stats packages available for Python already, although some build on
Scipy's stats package is more complete than many people expect.   I 
would argue strongly against putting a 'cheap stats' package in the 
core, since building one such packages takes a huge amount of work, 
doing it twice is silly.  At least the first version of the stats 
package now in chaco used to not require numeric, although I think that 
requirement is a red herring in practice.

>That's my view, so it's quite possibly the correct view <wink>.  Numbers is
>numbers.  sum(sequence_of_strings) hurts my brain, just as much as if we had
>a builtin concat() function for pasting together a sequence of strings, and
>someone argued that concat(sequence_of_numbers) should return their sum
>"because they're both related to the '+' glyph in a syntactical way" (that
>they both relate to methods named __add__ is beyond instant explanation to a

Concatenation using + always seemed too Perlish for me, and Perl doesn't 
even do it! =)