[PYTHON MATRIX-SIG] NASA Research Announcement - Astrophysics Data Program

Michael Bell michaelb@gold.iap.net.au
Fri, 7 Mar 1997 07:56:38 +0800 (WST)

> Johann Hibschman wrote:
> If you want to get astronomers interested in python, you may want 
> to wrap the PGPLOT libraries.  Someone just asked about that on 
> comp.lang.python, and it started me thinking about how hard a task that 
> would be.

Yes, I asked about PGPLOT ports to python on c.l.p.

The PGPLOT distribution includes a C version, and Using SWIG it was
trivial to wrap up most of pgplot into a python module, at least all
the subroutines with only scalar arguments.

It seems to me that it _ought_ to be trivial to extend the SWIGed code
to import array and matrix data (1d and 2d) from python objects to
pointers for the C/fortran library, but it's beyond my naive skill.

Python would then have a commonly used (by astronomers) plotting
module complete with vector plots, contouring, grey-scale and false
colour plots.  Perl has had this available in extremely easy to use
form for over a year I think.

> On the down side, PGPLOT is still tied to FORTRAN, so it would be nice 
> to encourage people to move to something else.  But, then again, having 
> PGPLOT available in an easy form would encourage people to try the python 
> system in the first place.  So, clearly, the answer is to get PGPLOT 
> working to sucker people in, but then stop supporting it to get them to 
> switch.  ;-)

Evil, wicked man!

Michael Bell
Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

domestic disruption counter-intelligence DES arrangements AK-47
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