[SciPy-dev] SciPy versus Matlab, Excel, and other tools

Kevin Altis altis at semi-retired.com
Mon Oct 15 12:39:46 CDT 2001

I asked a number of friends involved in science on a daily basis what tools
they use day to day and for publication. The top answer for doing analysis
and graphs seems to be Excel and presentations are done in PowerPoint which
are then projected rather than printed and then publications are done in PDF

One person was using Calcusyn for statistical analysis. Matlab seemed to be
the most popular tool after Excel. Excel can be manipulated via COM (and
possibly AppleEvents) so it can be scripted from Python, but then that would
be a Windows and Mac solution. Is the big issue here something that will run
under Unix? I'm assuming that the costs of Excel and Matlab are prohibitive
for some people. Matlab in particular looks pretty expensive for an
individual. Can Matlab be scripted from Python?

Of course, Excel doesn't have most of the libraries that SciPy has, so my
investigations may have been too focused on the visualization aspect.

Again, I'm not a scientific computing user, so I'm just trying to better
understand the SciPy goals, so I can understand how SciPy relates to


Kevin Altis
altis at semi-retired.com

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