[SciPy-user] Newbie Question about Scipy

Lorenzo Isella lorenzo.isella@gmail....
Wed Feb 14 09:47:58 CST 2007

Dear All,
I am pretty new to Python, but it has such a good reputation that I
decided to give it a try.
I am slightly puzzled about the syntax modulename.function.
I am going through the SciPy tutorial by Oliphant (btw, is there
anywhere online a free updated version of a document of this kind?).
To use SciPy I normally do the following:

~$ ipython
Python 2.4.4 (#2, Jan 13 2007, 17:50:26)
Type "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

IPython 0.7.3 -- An enhanced Interactive Python.
?       -> Introduction to IPython's features.
%magic  -> Information about IPython's 'magic' % functions.
help    -> Python's own help system.
object? -> Details about 'object'. ?object also works, ?? prints more.

In [1]: from scipy import *

However, statements like the ones in the guide:

In [12]: from integrate import quad
exceptions.ImportError                               Traceback (most
recent call last)

/home/iselllo/<ipython console>

ImportError: No module named integrate

do not work.
So I have to use: scipy.integrate. Similarly, the function gamma is
not recognized, but special.gamma is.
How is this chosen by the system? Then: once I have import everything
from scipy, is importing explicitly the gamma function a necessity at
On a more general ground, how does Python compare with e.g. MatLab or
Octave for scientific computing? Which are the advantages and
drawbacks (sorry if this is not the right forum).
Kind Regards


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