[Pythonmac-SIG] Building Numeric Python on Panther

Chris Barker Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
Fri Dec 3 21:07:47 CET 2004

Bob Ippolito wrote:

>> (Bonus question: the Numeric Python documentation makes it clear that
>> numarray should be used, but not how.  Is numarray a substitute for
>> all of Numeric?  If not, should numarray be installed before NumPy?)
> I think what they mean is that new applications should use numarray.  I 
> think the Python API is largely the same, but not everything is the same 
> (the C API, for example).

there are also differences in the Python API, but not much and there is 
a numarray C api that is similar.

> There are no interdependencies, so installation order isn't going to 
> make a lick of difference.

correct, they can co-exist quite peacefully. They even do a pretty good 
job of existing together in the same app!

Rules of thumb:

If you are using or modifying an app that already uses one or the other, 
stick with it.

If you are starting from scratch, you probably want to use numarray, unless:

-- you are also using SciPy, which used Numeric
-- you do a lot with small arrays. numarray has substantially worse 
performance with small arrays than Numeric, but somewhat better with 
very large arrays

Despite the idea that Numarray will replace Numeric, Numeric is still 
actively maintained (except that darn mistake in setup.py, which has 
persisted across a couple releases!)


Christopher Barker, Ph.D.
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Chris.Barker at noaa.gov

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