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

Thu Sep 28 15:56:15 CDT 2006

```Gael Varoquaux wrote:
>  John,
>
> [snippage]
>
> Maybe python can seem harder because it can be used at higher levels. I
> still thing that it is lacking an IDE where you can "click and start
> typing".
>

But that's exactly my point.  For the most common sort of calculations
one does as an undergraduate, using Python is exactly like using Matlab,
with trivial differences.  Here's a little homework problem -
calculating the flow velocity in a packed column.  This requires the

Click on Idle.  Then start typing:

Python 2.5 (r25:51908, Sep 19 2006, 09:52:17) [MSC v.1310 32 bit
(Intel)] on win32

****************************************************************
Personal firewall software may warn about the connection IDLE
makes to its subprocess using this computer's internal loopback
interface.  This connection is not visible on any external
interface and no data is sent to or received from the Internet.
****************************************************************

IDLE 1.2
>>> from numpy import *     # Yes, I know, but ...
>>> rho = 62.4
>>> rhop = 160.                  # Use decimal point, or use from
__future ...
>>> psi = 0.95
>>> Dp = 0.02/12
>>> mu = 1*6.72e-4
>>> eps = 0.42
>>> g = 32.174
>>> a = 1.75*rho/(psi*Dp*eps**3)
>>> b = 150.*mu*(1-eps)/((psi*Dp)**2*eps**3)
>>> c = g*(rhop - rho)
>>> print a,b,c
14918.248001   314771.892136   3140.1824
>>> roots([a,b,-c])
array([-0.34783557,  0.00969792])
>>>
Velocity is 0.097 m/sec.

This is how the students use Matlab - the problems are longer, but the
basic idea is the same.

You also say:

Gael:  "But I use object oriented programming, importing modules,