standard pyplot, numpy, scipy import syntax

In reference to:<>

A point was brought up that deserves wider dissemination and a correction, hence my posting to two lists.

To reduce confusion among new users and to improve code readability, participants in a numpy sprint, including John D. Hunter (remotely), agreed to promote the following standard:

import numpy as np
import scipy as sp
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

This differs from the message referenced above in that the standard entrance point for the plotting functionality of pylab is the pyplot module of matplotlib, not the pylab module. Pyplot is a fairly recent addition that provides the state-machine plotting interface; pylab is essentially the result of dumping pyplot and numpy into a single namespace, which is sometimes convenient for interactive use but certainly is not encouraged for programming.

The recommended standard is intended to promote consistency and readability in the numpy, scipy, and matplotlib families of modules, and in their documentation; it is not intended to imply any restriction on the user's freedom. The recommendation may be helpful in your own code, or it may not; use it where it helps.

This message is intended to be informational; it is not a trial balloon, and it is not intended to stimulate discussion. I hope the related discussions that have already occurred on the numpy and matplotlib lists will suffice.