[SciPy-user] General question on scipy

Christian K ckkart@hoc....
Fri Jun 29 06:34:15 CDT 2007

Alexander Dietz wrote:
> Hi,
> I am relative new to python, but I would like to use python for
> post-processing of data etc. I am using a LINUX machine with python
> installed on it, but to use if for scientific analysis and creating
> pictures etc. I need to install: matplotlib, numpy, scipy. It was quite
> difficult to install matplotlib and compile it against numpy (or
> something like that), but now I really would like to have a package that
> can handle matrix calculations ( e.g. matrix multiplication, singular
> value decomosition) and similar. The package then I need to install is:
> scipy.

What distribution are you using? For ubuntu e.g. all third-party libraries are
available and building numpy/scipy is as simple as cooking tea.

> So I tried to install scipy, but, as I expected, it does not work
> (multiple libraries are not found). The whole error message is attached
> to the end of the email.
> My question: Why do I need to install additional packages? Isn't it
> possible to code them up in scipy and use pure python for this? Or is it
> for computational reasons (to put computative intense calculations in C
> or whatever)? Or do most of the functions not yet exist in scipy
> (because its version 0.XX)? What is the reason for not having an
> entire-pure-python extension to python.numpy?

Speed. Andd the fact that most of the algorithms have been coded in fortran many
years ago and are known to be stable and good, I think.
I would like to point you to http://www.scipy.org/Installing_SciPy but
unfortunately that link is dead currently. Can somebody please fix it. Once on
SuSE I build lapack/atlas based on those instructions and everything went fine.

> My second question: How to install scipy? What packages are missing? I
> am sure I have numpy installed correctly, but I failes installing
> LAPACK, which error-message is here:

For numpy no third party libs are needed as there is a 'light' version of blas
included. For scipy you need either blas/lapack or atlas and the fftw libs if
you want to use the fft package.

So maybe wait until the webpage mentioned above is back and try again.


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