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

Wayne Watson sierra_mtnview@sbcglobal....
Fri Feb 19 16:48:12 CST 2010

Thanks very much for your description.  From what I can pull out of the 
book via Amazon makes me think it would be more useful than anything 
I've found on the web.  I'm very familiar with math and stat methods, so 
that's of minimal interest to understanding how the packages plan together.

To tighten up my knowledge on these subjects, I plan to go to a monthly 
PUG meeting San Francisco Bay Area next week to talk to live people 
about these matters and others. It's 180 miles from here, but I still 
have family and friends there, so  problem with distance.

What prompted me to post this message is matplotlib.  I began earnestly 
considering its plot facility, plain plot (line plot) in pyplot, about 2 
weeks ago. I immediately got stuck on what I would call the weird 
behavior of show(). In time, I got that under control and discovered 
some highly usable parts of matplotlib. I am still new to it, but see 
the benefits.

About two  days ago, I looked at the plot and decided it needed to have 
a large circle drawn around it. The plot is the somewhat zig-zag plot of 
a all-sky camera I use, and the data captured by it, track points. The 
circle would represent the horizon that camera sees. As far as I know, 
there's no way to draw a circle, except one. Put a large marker at the 
center point of the pixels where the zenith would be. It'll work, but 
left me thinking why I couldn't just draw it in  some "normal" way. That 
made me wonder if I was seeing the whole picture of scipy, pylab, and so 
on. However, I've begun getting familiar with them now.

Regarding MatLab, I happen to have a 5 year old student copy that I have 
barely used, since I purchased it. It's given me some insight to MPL, 
but I have no plans to dig into ML. Python is quite suitable.

Another tact I plan to use is to review  OOP inheritance in Pyhon. It's 
been a while since I used OOP, and I think there's a key there to 
understanding how these facilities work together.

On 2/19/2010 11:53 AM, Johann Cohen-Tanugi wrote:
> 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
>> -- 
>> This message has been scanned for viruses and
>> dangerous content by *MailScanner* <http://www.mailscanner.info/>, 
>> and is
>> believed to be clean.
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> _______________________________________________
>> AstroPy mailing list
>> AstroPy@scipy.org
>> http://mail.scipy.org/mailman/listinfo/astropy

             "There is nothing so annoying as to have two people
              talking when you're busy interrupting." -- Mark Twain

More information about the AstroPy mailing list