[SciPy-dev] SciPy Foundation

Tommy Grav tgrav@mac....
Sat Aug 1 12:11:09 CDT 2009


On Aug 1, 2009, at 12:20 PM, Joe Harrington wrote:

> Dag wrote:
>> I have seen email threads asking
>> what the SciPy goal is, without any clear resolution (?).
>
> For me, SciPy is a replacement for IDL that improves on it in some
> areas.  No more, but no less.

I have been using python, numpy and matplotlib for a few years as part
of my astronomy research. While I find numpy and matplotlib extremely
useful, scipy just don't seem to help me much. I think the problem is  
that
it is very unfocused. To me scipy is not a replacement of IDL, it is a  
python
implementation of Numerical Recipes, but it because of its lack of focus
it has become very chaotic. So far I have only found use for the  
integrate.leastsq
and spatial.KDTree packages from scipy. Packages like pyfits, pyraf,  
AstLib, etc.
take care of the more astronomy related problems. So I would  
personally like to
see scipy become a package that binds the numpy package to the more  
field
specific packages, by providing numerical methods that are broadly  
applicable
in many fields (i.e. least square minimization, KDTree implementation,  
Runga-Kutta
and other type of integration schemes, differential equation solvers  
and so on).

Making scipy into a tool for science and engineering is in my opinion  
a to broad a
goal. Making into a set of tools that are useable in many fields and  
thus supporting
development of field specific packages is in again my opinion the way  
to go. It narrows
the focus and makes the project more self contained.

Cheers
Tommy Grav
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Associate Researcher @ Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Johns Hopkins University
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tgrav@pha.jhu.edu
(410) 516-7683
http://web.mac.com/tgrav/Astronomy/Welcome.html
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