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

David Boddie david at boddie.org.uk
Fri Oct 21 02:03:23 CEST 2005

On Thu Oct 20 18:23:28, Peter Bowyer wrote:

[IDE features]

> I really appreciate having an inspector window to show me the values 
> of variables, either all of them or ones I've asked it specifically 
> to watch.  This saves me from having to put in print statements or 
> (at the interactive shell) to keep typing the variable names to see 
> what happened after the last equation was executed.
> I'll think about the rest, there have been other things.  I like an 
> integrated searchable manual for a number of reasons.

It would be good to have a decent general IDE to use as a platform on which
to add more specialized features. I imagine that most IDEs have some kind of
plugin architecture to allow this.

> >   http://rlabplus.sourceforge.net/
> There seem to be a lot of these around, Scilab and Octave just to 
> mention two others.  This always annoyed us, as one professor would 
> make us use Scilab while another used a very old version of Matlab 
> (not teaching the syntax for either).  It's one reason I support a 
> one tool fits all situation.

Yes, it may be difficult to justify choosing any given Matlab-like
environment over the others.

> >In an ideal world, I'd have used an ODE solver from Python.
> How about scipy.integrate.odeint :)

That would probably have done the trick, but I can't remember if that was
available at the time.


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