[Numpy-discussion] matlab vs. python question

Sturla Molden sturla@molden...
Wed Apr 25 14:59:05 CDT 2007

On 4/25/2007 9:31 PM, Robert Kern wrote:

>>> The things that I get annoyed with every time I have to read some Matlab code
>>> are the lack of namespaces and first-class function objects.
>> Matlab does have first-class function objects. You can get a handle to 
>> any function using the @ operator. Matlab has closures as well.
> I wish people would use them, then.

You have to realize that Matlab is mainly used by people who are not 
skilled programmers but scientists and engineers, the majority of which 
have never used anything else except perhaps Fortran 77. An array is the 
most advanced data structure they will ever need. I should know, I was 
among them for several years. Then I did something as silly as teaching 
myself C++. God knows why.

Matlab gives interactive access to Fortran arrays and libraries, e.g. 
LAPACK. That is what Matlab was designed to do and it does that very 
well. Even the name Matlab reflects that, it is an abbreviation for 
"matrix laboratory". I am not surprised that most Matlab users do not 
use facilities like function handles or closures. But Matlab does have 
that, nevertheless.

Sturla Molden

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