Recent versions of Numeric (>=24.0) and numarray (>=1.50), support a common array interface with NumPy. This allows using exposing arrays at native speeds between software packages like Matplotlib and PyTables that depend on either Numeric or numarray but do not yet fully support NumPy. We recommend and expect that in the medium term, all third-party libraries will either start using only the array interface or switch from Numeric, which is now deprecated, to NumPy.
Older versions of Numeric would need to use tostring() and fromstring(), both of which are more efficient than tolist().
The original plans to push for inclusion of the new array object into Python have been shelved after discussions between Travis, Paul, Perry, and Guido. The primary reason for this is the constraints it would impose upon the release cycle. There are, however, plans for getting a very simple arrayobject into Python (largely to enshrine the array interface). This is currently being drafted as a PEP at
but is waiting for more people to help push it forward.