ajsiegel at optonline.net
Sat Feb 25 21:05:08 CET 2006
>Paul, no, I have not tried NumPy (Numerical Extensions To Python).
>The only Python (yet to be read) book that I own is Andre Lessa's
>"Python Developer's Handbook", 2001, SAMS.
>Lessa mentions briefly (p. 15, last paragraph) NumPy and
>again later (pp. 364-367). Lessa shows not a line of NumPy
>on those pages, although he gives URL's. Lessa fails to
>mention the connection to J, perhaps for fear of frightening us away.
I don't know the book, but it doesn't sound very oriented toward
But I would say that there seems to be a strange consensus of
irreconcilable positions in books that *are* educationally oriented -
especially in those oriented toward younger people - that computer
graphics are a good and primary way to introduce things, and that the
mathematics is frightening and should be avoided.
One thing, I think, to appreciate about J is that it would have no part
of this. I have a J book which fully appreciates the fun and motivating
force of creating graphics, mathematically. With the "mathematically"
being to the essence.
But I have personally found that there is in the Python world actually a
more complete set of tools to use to explore this "space" of the
connection between mathematics and graphics (we can call it "art" if we
want) than is true in the J world.
The Numeric /Numpy line central to almost all of them.
In my little POV-ray story, I need to be able to take the 1 unit square
polygon on the XY plane and orient it precisely to some distinct (but
arbitrary) position in 3d space. There are no buttons to push to do
so. Except for the matrix "button". Nobody could stop me from finding
To someone like myself, the connection between the art and the
mathematics is the more interesting and educational part of the story -
the computing language syntax, the less.
>Calling Java::Python "JPython" further dooms J to anonymity.
>I.e., it leads one to think of "J" as implying Java. Likewise,
>the Evil Empire's J++ and J# products.
>Kirby is correct about the ability to write really weird looking code in J.
>(I assume that is what is meant by "J is maybe the most weird language I know").
>Paul, thank you ... NumPy is now on my list of future investigations.
>"If your only tool is a hammer, all of your problems tend to look like nails". (author unknown)
>From: "Paul Barrett" <pebarrett at gmail.com>
>Sent: Saturday, February 25, 2006 12:18 PM
>Subject: Re: [Edu-sig] Textbooks
>The multidimensional array modules in their various incarnations, Numeric,
>Numarray and Numpy - with the Numpy being the latest and hopeful last - are
>based on J's array semantics and behaviour. So in some sense, you can teach
>J programming concepts by using Numpy.
>Have you you tried Numpy?
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