[SciPy-user] Matlab, Scipy and teaching science

Noel O'Boyle noel.oboyle2 at mail.dcu.ie
Thu Oct 20 03:55:10 CDT 2005

> The arguments for Matlab are stronger:
> 1) It's a standard tool, widely used

As you say, the biggest problem with Matlab is that it's neither open
source nor cheap.

> 2) It is easier to install and maintain (discounting the Enthought 
> edition for a moment, Python is CRAP compared with other langauges - 
> where is the Package manager to make life easier?)

A package manager may be provided by the operating system - for example,
redhat linux uses yum, and debian linux has a fantastic package manager
(see http://packages.debian.org/stable/python/ for a list of available
stable packages for Python).

> 3) The editor has a good interface (v7 and above) which IDLE lacks 
> (no data inspector 'right there')

There are other editors. For example, ipython is closer to matlab, if
you install matplotlib.

> 4) Integrated help for all the scientific functions

I think it's there - if you set things up with ipython. But it's not
flashy or anything, true. You just type help(commandname) and get some
text, but this is usually sufficient if you already know which command
you want. Otherwise, you need to check out the tutorial.


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