[SciPy-user] Why is SciPy better than Matlab or IDL? ;)
Thu Jul 9 17:51:45 CDT 2009
Vincent van Beveren wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I'm an engineer at Rijnhuizen, which is a research institute for plasma
> physics. We use Python to drive one of our main research projects,
> however, in the scientific circles in this institute Python (and SciPy)
> are largely unknown. Time to change this, I think :). However, since I am
> an engineer and not a scientist I my viewpoint on Python and SciPy are
> more of an engineering perspective, like its Open Source, Free, modern
> language, functional programming, etc... I'm not entirely sure these are
> compelling arguments for a scientist to start working with Python (or
> atleast not on it self). So I was wondering, if I was to promote Python in
> the scientific community here at Rijnhuizen. So I have a few questions:
> - In what aspects does SciPy excel, compared to say IDL or
> - In what ways allows it a scientist to be more effective?
> - How usable is SciPy for Plasma physics, molucular dynamics and
> nanolayer Surface and Interface Physics (the 3 main areas at Rijnhuizen)?
> - How stable is it compared to other packages. (bugs,
> Any comments and insights are welcome!
> PS. Posted in scipy-dev by accident.
> Ing. V. van Beveren
> Software Engineer, FOM Rijnhuizen
> E: V.vanBeveren@rijnhuizen.nl<mailto:V.vanBeveren@rijnhuizen.nl>
The real question is "why is Python better than Matlab or IDL?"
I don't have an opinion on Matlab since I never used it. However, I used
IDL professionally for about 20 years or so (just for reference, I am a
A few years ago, having gotten some proficiency in Python, I pretty much
dropped my usage of IDL and now use Python. This means python, ipython,
numpy, scipy, matplotlib and whatever other modules I need. One basic
difference is that I can use it at home, on the road and at work without
need of an expensive license. Also, I enjoy using it.
I have seem some object-oriented implementations is IDL and they are
pathetic. It may just be the way it was done but I don't know. The use of
objects in Python is very straightforward.
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