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Darr is a Python science library for storing numeric data arrays in a format that is open, simple, and self-explanatory

Project description

Darr is a Python science library for efficient read/write/append access to disk-persistent numeric data arrays. There are other Python libraries for this, but Darr also ensures tool-independent and long-term accessibility of your data. It saves and automatically updates a human-readable explanation of how your binary data is stored, together with code for reading the specific data in a variety of current scientific data tools such as Python, R, Julia, IDL, Matlab, Maple, and Mathematica (see [example array] (

In essence, Darr enables you to efficiently work with potentially very large data arrays in a Python/NumPy environment, and share this data as is with others who do not use Darr, or even Python, without exporting anything. It is also an easy way to make sure you can read your own data in the future when you may use different tools.

Darr currently supports numerical N-dimensional arrays, and experimentally supports numerical ragged arrays, i.e. a series of arrays in which one dimension varies in length.

Darr is currently pre-1.0, still undergoing significant development. It is open source and freely available under the New BSD License <>__ terms.

Darr is currently pre-1.0, still undergoing significant development.


  • Purely based on flat binary and text files, tool independence.
  • Supports very large data arrays through memory-mapped file access.
  • Data read/write access through NumPy indexing
  • Data is easily appendable.
  • Human-readable explanation of how the binary data is stored is saved in a README text file.
  • README also contains examples of how to read the array in popular analysis environments such as Python (without Darr), R, Julia, Octave/Matlab, GDL/IDL, Maple, and Mathematica.
  • Many numeric types are supported: (u)int8-(u)int64, float16-float64, complex64, complex128.
  • Easy use of metadata, stored in a separate JSON text file.
  • Minimal dependencies, only NumPy.
  • Integrates easily with the Dask or NumExpr libraries for numeric computation on very large Darr arrays.

See the documentation for more information.

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