python: something completely different

Thomas A. Bryan tbryan at
Mon Nov 8 21:47:59 EST 1999

Grant Griffin wrote:

> I don't know if a Matlab-to-Python translator is currently available,
> but if not, I don't think it would be all that hard to write one (in
> Python, of course).

I'm sure how useful such a thing would be.  Most people I know who 
seriously use Matlab use at least one of its toolboxes.  They also 
tend to output plots/graphs when they're done with their work, and 
Matlab actually makes some very nice plots.  I haven't looked at the
state of Python plotting/graphing in about a year, but when I last 
looked, I judged that the effort to produce nice plots with Python 
would be considerable.  

That said, from what I remember of Matlab syntax, it probably would 
be a fairly straight-forward project to implement a translator for 
the basic vector/array/structure/scripting syntax (assuming that 
we're translating to a Python with Numeric Python compiled).  It 
might be a fun project, but it probably wouldn't move too many 
people away from Matlab until they could get colored, labeled, 
scaled plots from Python.  Most people would also have to be willing 
to code the few crucial routines that they've been using from a 
Matlab toolbox.  Of course, if the translator existed, maybe 
more people would try to move to Python.  That could spur a 
lot of growth in toolboxes for Numeric Python! :)


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