On 25/04/07, Sturla Molden email@example.com wrote:
You have to realize that Matlab is mainly used by people who are not skilled programmers but scientists and engineers, the majority of which have never used anything else except perhaps Fortran 77. An array is the most advanced data structure they will ever need. I should know, I was among them for several years. Then I did something as silly as teaching myself C++. God knows why.
I have a quibble with this. I work with scientists too, and while an array is usually the most sophisticated data structure they ever use, it's not the most sophisticated data structure they ever *need*. Many many times I've seen a project that is more limited, more error-prone, slower, and more painful to use because the programmer didn't know about or didn't use the right programming tools. Or was using a language that didn't make them readily available.
Take, for example, optparse. Hardly a scientific package, indeed, but it makes little command-line utilities vastly easier to write right. And at least in our group, small command-line utilities do an awful lot of the work.
Now, teaching us to actually write half-decent programs is another story...
Anne M. Archibald