[Python-ideas] Adding a half-float (16-bit) type to PEP 3118 (and possibly the struct module?)

Robert Kern robert.kern at gmail.com
Wed Mar 30 21:53:53 CEST 2011

On 3/30/11 1:54 PM, Mark Dickinson wrote:

> For myself, I have mixed feelings on the proposed addition:  while I
> can see how the half-precision floats would be useful in NumPy, it's
> not so clear that they'd be useful to Python itself.  It feels a
> little bit odd to have NumPy driving Python additions that may not be
> of that much interest to non-NumPy users.

Like Ellipsis, multidimensional extended slicing, complex numbers, and non-bool 
rich comparisons? :-)

I think the major point in its favor is that PEP 3118 defines a protocol for 
third party libraries to communicate, the most notable of which really was 
numpy. Python itself needs only a subset of that, which was mostly already 
capably handled by the old buffer protocol. Still, it's worth defining the 
standard to allow third parties to communicate the full spectrum of things they 
want to tell each other.

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
  that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
  an underlying truth."
   -- Umberto Eco

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