[SciPy-user] Matlab, Scipy and teaching science

Peter Bowyer peter at mapledesign.co.uk
Thu Oct 20 04:45:17 CDT 2005

Hello Noel,

At 09:55 20/10/2005, Noel O'Boyle wrote:
>As you say, the biggest problem with Matlab is that it's neither open
>source nor cheap.

However when the university has a multimillion pound turnover each 
year the cost becomes less of an issue.  FWIW the aerospace 
department already requires its students to buy a copy for a course; 
so this argument isn't as strong as I'd like.

>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).

I forgot to mention that the university has standardised on Windows 
XP now.  A debian-style package manager for Windows would be 
wonderful, but I doubt it'll happen (I can dream :-))

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

Thanks, I'd not tried that one.

>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.

What's nice is when you can't remember the method name to have a 
search facility directly there in the editor.  That's probably 
showing my Windows/IDE heritage, but I like the ease it offers :)


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