[SciPy-dev] Re: [SciPy-user] Re: Future directions for SciPy in light of meeting at Berkeley

Joe Harrington jh at oobleck.astro.cornell.edu
Wed Mar 9 12:39:31 CST 2005

I think it would be great if both of you took a stab at it.  The doc
will be necessarily short, and we can eventually combine the best
elements into one doc.  The project agreed by straw poll to use LyX,
or you can use latex, which LyX reads/produces.  It does math well and
from it we can easily make all formats (html and pdf being the main
ones).  If you don't want to write in LyX, you can use whatever you
want and someone will convert it.

Before you start, it makes sense to have a brief discussion of what it
should contain.  My suggestion is in the ASP proposal:

4. They read the "Getting Started" document, which is about 20 pages
   and contains:
   a. A brief (1/2 page) description of SciPy's key characteristics
      from a new user's point of view
   b. A get-your-feet-wet tutorial, for example:
	make a sine wave and a parabola, add them, and plot,
	read some ASCII data and plot it,
	do a Fourier transform of the data and plot it,
	read an image and display it,
	make a second image, add it to the first, and display it, and
	extract an image section, manipulate it, and display it.
   c. The basic (non-programming) Python syntax, including
      array creation, access, and manipulation.
   d. The key elements of Python's interaction with the operating
      system (e.g., the most important environment variables, how to
      tell it where routines are stored, etc.).
   e. A statement on the current state of the software, that there is
      flux in graphics and the underlying array package, but that the
      functionality we teach in the docs will not (likely) go away.
   f. Sources of further information and support, both in the
      downloaded package and on the web.

Remember that all this must fit in 15 minutes of interactive reading
time, so references to descriptions elsewhere are best for the
items that aren't leading the user through python interactions.


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