On Sunday 20 November 2005 1:55 am, Travis Oliphant wrote:
> John Hunter wrote:
> >Travis, Perry, Todd and I have been
> >discussing the benefits of changing matplotlib to work *only* with the
> >new scipy, which include faster build times, smaller binaries, less
> >complexity and pushing the community to a single array object. Since
> >the new array interface works with Numeric 24, recent numarray or the
> >new scipy, *any* of these array packages would work with a matplotlib
> >compiled just for scipy. We decided to hold off on doing this until
> >scipy installations issues were sorted out even on semi-obscure
> >platforms -- Travis, what's your sense of this?
> My sense is that scipy_core installation is working on as many platforms
> as Numeric did. I'd personally love to see matplotlib move to a single
> scipy core build as soon as possible. This would encourage even more
> installation and testing of the new scipy core and help us iron out any
> remaining issues even faster.
> However, as long as matplotlib users have a sense that this is the
> direction matplotlib is headed, I see nothing wrong with making a
> release with the 3-supported arrays (especially since somebody has done
> all of the work already :-) ), and then making a release after that
> build only with new scipy core.
> Just having the ability to build against new scipy will still encourage
> some to make the transition (and that will help with continued testing).
The last couple of days, I have been thinking about scipy_core's atlas
dependency, which might be a big barrier for some. There is this issue with
getting the full lapack instead of the truncated version, for example. I
don't know how difficult it is to compile atlas, having been screened from
the process by gentoo's package manager. The mpl devs have put a lot of
effort into making mpl easily accessible to the newbies (remember the backend
issues circa 0.50?) so I am concerned about erecting new barriers now. Will
scipy_core ever include something like Numeric's lapack_lite?
As a staff scientist at a national lab, I will be creating tools to aid our
users in data visualization and analysis. Some of our projects involve
extensive outreach efforts, involving gradeschool, highschool, and colleges
around the country. My collaborators don't care if they are using matlab,
python or whatever, as long as it is easy to use and they can get their
I suggest that mpl not commit to requiring scipy *instead* of numeric or
numarray until scipy_core can be built without external math libraries (like
numarray and Numeric), and has proved to be a piece of cake to install
on the major os's/distributions known to be used in this community. For
example, scipy/distutils is still missing a site.cfg.example. I've been around
long enough to know about site.cfg from scipy-0.3.2, but even so, when I
build on Gentoo, I still have to edit system_info.py for new scipy to find
the blas libraries.
I'm impressed with scipy, and hope the numeric/numarray community will adopt
it quickly. But I don't want to advocate using MPL as a vehicle to force such
an adoption prematurely.