why not arrays?

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at iinet.net.au
Thu Dec 16 09:57:10 EST 2004

Rahul wrote:
> Hi.
> I just wanted to know why arrays have not been included as a builtin
> datatype like lists or dictionaries? The numpy extension shows that it
> can be implemented. then why not include arrays in core python?
> rahul

As Gerhard mentioned, the standard library module 'array' can be used for 
data-type specific one-dimensional arrays.

For more complex (i.e. multi-dimensional) arrays - the general answer is "get 
numpy". I'm not aware of the actual reasons why numpy is not included in the 
standard library, but some possible reasons would be:

- size (increase the base Python download too much)
- portability (less portable than the core interpreter)
- stability (the numpy folks aren't yet prepared to commit to the backwards 
compatibility issues associated with being part of the standard library)
- logistics (merging numpy into Python is likely to be a pain)


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at email.com   |   Brisbane, Australia

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