Numarray, numeric, NumPy, scpy_core ??!!

Robert Kern robert.kern at
Sat Jan 21 02:02:05 CET 2006

Claudio Grondi wrote:

> I decided to use numarray, so maybe you can report what your problem/bug 
> is before I run into it myself? The reason why I decided to use numarray 
> was, that the whole scpy_core story seems to get more or less commercial 
> and its free version comes because of this with no documentation of 
> newest features.

No, numpy (which used to be scipy_core) is completely free. It will never turn
into a proprietary package.

The complete documentation, however, is currently available only as a PDF for
purchase, but only until a certain number of copies have been sold, or enough
time passes. Believe me, the old manuals for Numeric and numarray were never as
complete. No one could ever commit the time to thoroughly document them for
free. Charging for the documentation (for a limited time) was the only way
Travis Oliphant could afford to spend the time to write the full documentation
and write the code. I think the quality of the book speaks well for that choice.

Of course, the docstring coverage is quite good, and we have explicitly welcomed
efforts to produce free documentation. So far, those who have volunteered
haven't produced anything. And as incomplete as the old Numeric manual was *for
Numeric*, it and the free documentation that is actually distributed with numpy
and describes the differences between the two goes a long way.

Robert Kern
robert.kern at

"In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
 Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
  -- Richard Harter

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