[SciPy-user] scilab versus scipy (was Re: SciPy Data Analysis Workbench)

Brian Blais bblais at bryant.edu
Thu Jan 18 19:45:45 CST 2007

Stef Mientki wrote:
> Very usefull information,
> Although I've more or less chosen SciPy as the main tool,
> I'm still doubting what to choose, SciPy or SciLab,
> but now I think I definitely go for SciPy.

I would not doubt...go with scipy.  :)

> The SciCos part of SciLab is not only MatLab's-Simulink (transfer 
> functions),
> but also includes MatLab's-PowerSim (2-poles) .

I guess if you need this part of it, then I can't complain, but I've used scilab
extensively in the recent past (not the scicos stuff, though), and I can add to the
list to lean to Python/Scipy

> The following issues decided me to choose SciPy:
> - embedding of SciLab is very difficult (impossible ?)

I would add that *extending* scilab is a pain.  writing extensions in python,
especially using Pyrex, is nearly trivial and a must for any scientific programming.
  for scilab, to write one extension function, you need at least *3* different files,
with different syntax.  yikes!

> - the usenet group is much less active than SciPy, Python usergroups

yes, and I agree with a previous post that they do not respond well to suggestions.
I got blown off a couple times, and not answered a couple times.  The python groups,
in contrast, are always very friendly even when I post stupid things.  :)

> - Python is usable as a general program language

very true.  there is a real arbitrariness in the scilab syntax, and function names,
which seems to come from the top and is inflexible.  for 2d plots, matplotlib blows
it out of the water.  wxpython, or any of the other gui toolkits, are much better
than the inconsistent options under scilab.

I left scilab for octave, in Linux, for many of these same reasons.  The windows port
of octave, as of a year or so ago, was *terrible*: performance was awful, to the
point of making a perfectly running project in Linux completely unusable in Windows.
  This was one of the factors that started me looking elsewhere, and I happened upon
Python a year ago, and never looked back!

I go with the Enthought edition of Python, to get all the necessary packages in one

my 2cents.



              bblais at bryant.edu

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