switching to numpy and failing, a user story

Ramon Diaz-Uriarte rdiaz02 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 6 21:22:16 CEST 2006

On 6 Oct 2006 09:26:23 -0700, Istvan Albert <istvan.albert at gmail.com> wrote:
> sturlamolden wrote:
> > Those involved in the development of NumPy must receive some
> > compensation. Financial support to NumPy also ensure that the
> > developmentcan continue. I for one does not want to see NumPy as
> Then charge for NumPy ... or write a book *besides* the documentation.
> One in which you make good use of NumPy and demonstrate the actual
> problem solving process.
> Charging for docs is just shooting yourself in the foot.

I beg to disagree with you (even if I'd rather have the docs for free):

1. You have NumPy available, so you can use it. Paying for software
is, for many reasons, and for many of us, an absolute show stopper.

2. For many people the "for free" docs and help are enough.

3. As already said, this mechanism allows some people to make a
contribution that would otherwise be impossible. For instance, if you
use NumPy in your job, and your employer (be that a private business
or the public sector if you are paid with tax money) benefits from it,
how can you return that back? Ask that the book be bought. Moreover,
even if, say, I might be willing to pay for the book, maybe my grad
students can't; I might be able to use grant money, to purchase a copy
for a grad student.

(It is actually interesting that in the R help mailing list there are
from time to time suggestions that CDs with R ---even if R is GPL'd
software that you can download from the web--- be sellable by the R
foundation, as a possible way to allow employers to make a
contribution to the R project.)

> Plus that so called documention seems very unwieldy and unattractive,

attractiveness is on the eye of the looker, I'd say. A lot of it looks
like classical good-looking LaTeX to me.

> long winded text, you can't search it, google won't index it -> people
> won't find what they are looking for.

Many textbooks and reference books are not indexed by google. Yet we
pay for them and we use them. These are incoveniences, not fatal


> I.
> --
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list

Ramon Diaz-Uriarte
Computational Statistics Team
Structural Biology and Biocomputing Programme
Spanish National Cancer Centre (CNIO)

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