[Matrix-SIG] Re: a full-blown interactive data analysis environment

Konrad Hinsen hinsen@cnrs-orleans.fr
Wed, 10 Feb 1999 18:19:59 +0100

> > How exactly does your idea differ from combining LAPACK, FFTPACK, etc.
> > into one tar file and write wrappers and documentation for all of it?
> That is precisely what I want to do.  The shocking thing is that
> nobody has done this yet, at least not in a usable way.  Doing it well
> is not trivial.

OK, now I see what you are aiming at - and I agree it's a worthwhile
project; the average potential user just can't do these things.

> successful free software efforts.  So far, scientific computing has
> not taken part in the explosion of capability (and drop in price) that
> other kinds of computing have as a result of the open-source software
> development model.  The rank and file scientists in most disciplines
> use commercial software or hire programmers to write in C.  There are

Partly this situation has been caused by the scientists themselves.
Much of the commercial software has been written by scientists for
their own work, but instead of following the original scientific
spirit of sharing the result of scientific work freely with other
scientists, they have chosen to go commercial. Tight budgets certainly
encourage this, as does the unfortunate fact that providing scientific
software is not considered "science".

> The way I see changing the situation is to decide first what we want
> (rather than listing the packages that are available), then going out
> and looking for all the free implementations of each component,
> weighing each, and selecting packages based on how well they fit into
> the overall scheme.  This would include their ease of use, quality of

Fine. But we'll have to create separate "task forces"; I suppose
none of us knows all relevant fields sufficiently well!
Konrad Hinsen                            | E-Mail: hinsen@cnrs-orleans.fr
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