[Python-Dev] Expose the array interface in Python 2.5?

Thomas Heller theller at python.net
Fri Mar 24 18:27:13 CET 2006

Travis E. Oliphant wrote:
> Last year, during development of NumPy, the concept of the array 
> interface was developed as a means to share array_like data.  It was 
> realized that it is this concept that needs to be explored further and 
> pushed into Python itself, rather than a particular incarnation of an 
> array.
> It is very important for many people to get access to memory with some 
> description of how that memory should be interpreted as an array. 
> Several Python packages could benefit if Python had some notion of an 
> array interface that was at least supported in a duck-typing fashion.

I'm astonished that our BDFL doesn't speak up on this issue.  IIRC,
it was the (his?) plan to let the numpy community develop an interface,
which would then be included into Python.

> The description of what we've come up with so far and is implemented in 
> NumPy (and Numarray and last released Numeric) is at
> http://numeric.scipy.org/#array_interface
> Quite a few of us would love to see this get into Python proper, but 
> have very little free-time to spare to make sure it happens.
> Would it be possible to add at least the C-struct array interface to the 
> Python arrayobject in time for Python 2.5?
> Is someone on this list willing to help make it happen?

What excatly would you like to see in the core?  If I read the url above correctly,
it would only be required to attach some attributes to existing array-like

Are ctypes and arrayobject the only candidates, or do you want these
attributes on other data types as well (strings, unicode)?

OTOH, with a 2.5 alpha release next week, it may be too late for anything...


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