Scientific Libraries in Python
Fernando Pérez
fperez528 at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 10 21:53:51 CET 2001
>
> Would it be possible for one to absorb the other so we have a single
> standard scientific library for Python?
Indeed. SciPy seems to have a very good framework, into which probably others
could be plugged in. Currently there's a ton of half-baked systems, none of
which is fully satisfactory. I truly think that with a good, comprehensive
system of packages for numeric/scientific work, which includes a *real*
visualization framework, Python can beat as a tool MatLab and IDL by far.
Mathematica/Maple are a tougher question, because symbolic computing is still
a bit of a black art. But there's Ginac which has (had?) Python bindings, and
in the meantime one could call Mathematica via the Mathlink protocol.
The way I see it, we need a solid, integrated set of libaries with:
1) python-level access to all routines
2) c/c++ implementations of the low-level stuff for speed.
3) A true visualization *framework*, which has both high-level plotting
routines and access to basic primitives. Mathematica's plotting system, while
not the most convenient to use, is a good example of this idea. You can just
'plot' stuff, but you also have low-level access to the graphing primitives
to program more complex stuff yourself.
4) A convenient environment for interactive work.
1/2 are being addressed by SciPy/Scientific, so some integration would be
nice.
3: there's a lot out there, but nothing convinces me yet. VPython is great
for 3d work but still in its infancy, gnuplot and grace have python access
but don't provide low-level access, scigraphica doesnt' seem ready yet, ...
4: we have the prompt, and improvements exist. This is the easiest of the 4.
F.
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