[Numpy-discussion] matlab, idle, interactivity and teaching

Giorgio Luciano giorgio.luciano@chimica.unige...
Wed Mar 28 09:58:42 CDT 2007

Hello to all,
I've thread that apperead some time ago on this list about matlab and 
I've discovered python recently  and translated part of the routine I 
use in python (www.chemometrics.it).
Some of my collegue asked me if I could show them how to use python. For 
matlab user I guess the first problem is to setup everything, but I just 
fixed it preparing a directory with all the package I need and a 
matplotlibrc file for interactive mode + a shortcut for idle -n use.
The second problem is that people now  wants some bells and whistles of 
matlab that I have to admit sometime can be very helpful for saving 
time. The bells and whistles are about the workspace.
It's difficult to cut and paste from gnumeric/excel (I generally use txt 
file but it's no so immediate) and also there is no "visual" workspace. 
I cannot succeed also in saving workspace (I know there is a function so 
iosave.mat but I didn't manage easily hot to use it)
For overpass this problems I've tried to use QME-DEV which is in early 
stage of development (alpha) but promise well.
What people like of python/matplot/scipy
-its free ;)
-they like a lot the plotting style and capabilities (they find the png 
and svg file very clear and accurate)
-they like IDLE as editor (ehy it's has the same color of matlab ;) ! )

So my question is . Do you have a similar experience ?
How do you help people in moving the first step ?
do you use (and also does it exist) a more friendly environment than 
IDLE except from QME-DEV.

I know that this question may look silly, but in my opinion also how 
much is user friendly a software is very important for getting new users.
Cheers to all

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