[AstroPy] Books on pylab, scipy, ...?

Johann Cohen-Tanugi cohen@lpta.in2p3...
Fri Feb 19 13:53:47 CST 2010


hi Wayne, what you ask is hard to achieve for any author. First of all, 
while matlab is a sort of testbench of what things could look like and 
has been at least partially driving some considerations in matplotlib 
and numpy/scipy, the latter do not intend to "work like" matlab, nor to 
offer the same level of integration. So first of all, is you want a high 
level of integration within one open source product, check out octave 
and/or scilab.

Second, matplotlib is a very large OO libraries, and you can manipulate 
the objects in the libraries within python. A subset of matplotlib then 
strive to provide high level single-command interface to this OO... this 
is what you call pylab I believe... With pylab you have access to easy 
commands for all the normal call to plotting, with a 'look and feel' 
somewhat equivalent to MATLAB.

Third, scipy is a "toolbox" or a "toolstack". It starts with the numpy 
core library, and provide a series of libraries for further scientific 
computing, alwaus striving to make use of numpy underneath. These 
includes integration, ode and pde solver, root finding, some 
multivariate analysis tools, etc... What is or should be in scipy is not 
clear and is subject to many threads in the scipy-user and scipy-dev 
mailing lists. In that respect, the role of the scikits separate modules 
is not clear either. In that condition, you will have a very hard time 
finding a scipy dedicated book. What you can find is books on numerical 
recipes in python, probably using numpy, and describing implementations 
that might or might not already be in scipy. The next stage is then, for 
a given problem you are interested in, to ask the scipy mailing list if 
there are tools in the toolstack that could help you reach your goal.
When scipy matures more, then maybe it will have a shape and a 
definiteness that will warrant a dedicated book. I do not think that we 
are there yet.

HTH,
Johann

Wayne Watson wrote:
> Perhaps there are books on Subject and similar topics? I know there's 
> one on matplotlib. "A Primer on Scientific Programming with Python" is 
> somewhat along these lines. I decided to use the "Inside Search" for 
> books on Amazon. numpy is well represented, and apparently quite a few 
> math methods. When I searched for scipy,  it found a number of pages, 
> but not one of the pages would be displayed. The entirety of books 
> there is limited to maybe 1/2 a book. I'm more interested in how 
> pylab, scipy and matlab play together.
> -- 
>             "There is nothing so annoying as to have two people 
>              talking when you're busy interrupting." -- Mark Twain
>
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