[SciPy-user] Pros and Cons of Python verses other array environments

Gael Varoquaux gael.varoquaux at normalesup.org
Thu Sep 28 13:38:55 CDT 2006

I agree with Rob that python is slightly harder to figure out for
complete beginners. And I agree that it lacks integration. I would like
to have a application, with an icon on the Desktop, or in the menus,
that you can start, and start right away typing calculations in, without
importing packages, figuring out how with shell use, it might even have
an editor. It would have proper branding, look pretty, have menus
(including a help menu that would give help on python, scipy, and all
the other packages)...

I am (as everybody) lacking time to do this but I see enthought's
envisage a good starting point for this. It seems possible to integrate
pylab to it, in order to have dockable pylab windows. It already has an
editor and a shell. The shell is not as nice as ipython: it is pycrust,
but I hope one day ipython will be easy to integrate in wxpython
applications, and that it will have syntax highlighting and docstrings
popup like pycrust (beginners really love that).

I think developing such an application would definitely help our
community get more exposure. I know this will not interest the people
who are currently investing a lot of time on scipy/ipython, as they are
aiming for the other end of the spectrum: difficult tasks where no good
answers are available, like distributed computing. I think that we
should still keep this in mind, and as pycrust, envisage, and other
inegration tools make progress see if and when we can put together such
application. Maybe we should put up a wiki page to throw down some ideas
about this.


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