[Edu-sig] Why choose Python (subtitled: the lure of the tool)

Dethe Elza delza at livingcode.org
Thu Oct 20 06:19:01 CEST 2005

On 19-Oct-05, at 5:01 PM, David Boddie wrote:
> You can still learn about efficiency in Python. The result just  
> might not
> be as fast as you would like. :-)

Coding in Python and using external libraries is pretty damn fast.  I  
know of one government physics lab that uses Python wrappers around  
their Fortran libraries, for instance.

> In the end, I went from RLaB to Python precisely because Python is  
> a more
> general purpose and extensible language. For anything that required
> intensive computation, I used C with the help of the Numerical  
> Recipes book
> and processed the results with Python. In an ideal world, I'd have  
> used
> an ODE solver from Python.

I don't know if it includes an ODE solver (since I don't know what  
that is), but have you checked out Matplotlib (http:// 
matplotlib.sourceforge.net/), which aims to reproduce at least some  
of the functionality of a Matlab/Mathematica/Maple? It is also part  
of the larger SciPy project (http://www.scipy.org/About/) which  
appears to be even closer to your "ideal world."



"And you think you're so clever and classless and free"
— John Lennon on prototype-based programming

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