[SciPy-user] About alternatives to Matlab

Peter Wang pwang at enthought.com
Mon Nov 20 01:41:01 CST 2006

On Nov 20, 2006, at 1:21 AM, Gael Varoquaux wrote:

> Regarding chaco2/matplotlib they both have pros and cons. Chaco2 is  
> way
> better at building interactive GUI. It is also way faster. However  
> it is
> not as nice to use from an interactive ipython prompt.

I've been working on that slowly in my spare time. :)

> I also have the fealing it is not as developed as mpl.

Do you mean not as actively developed, or not as many total man hours  
put into the project?  I guess I can't make a comparison in either  
case, because I don't know the level of effort (past and present) on  
MPL.  I do know that for most of this year, we've had two people full  
time on Chaco (along with a geophysics plotting toolkit built on top  
of Chaco), and several other folks have contributed.  It definitely  
does not yet have the community that matplotlib does.

There are about... two architectural changes I'd like to get done  
before we cut a "wide public" release of chaco, at which point we  
will get some more users. :)

> I must say I am quite sad to see two great plotting suites under  
> python
> that both have different strength and weakness. I would like one to  
> steal
> as much as possible from the other.

Heh... I think it would be possible to build a Chaco/Kiva backend for  
Matplotlib that would allow any mpl artist to render into a Chaco  
plot, and play well with layout, backbuffering, overlays, etc.  I  
don't know how well various tools would work, though.  But in any  
case that would be a small first step.

> Chaco relies heavily on other
> enthought components, and the Enthought Tools Suite was not terribly
> modular up to now.

It does rely on some other components, but a few of those components  
really are just lower levels of Chaco that have been factored out.   
Kiva and Enable are really part of the Chaco stack, and other than  
that, Chaco really only needs Traits.  You don't even need Traits UI  
if you don't want to pop up the TraitsTool.  (I guess we also import  
enthought.logger, but that is not really critical.)

I hear you about the interdependencies, though, and that is something  
I'd like to get straightened out before the release.


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