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Re: Octave's and Matlab's limitations

From: Jake
Subject: Re: Octave's and Matlab's limitations
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 11:23:28 -0800

Neither MATLAB or Octave are meant for general purpose; I agree with the general consensus and what Jordi said before that basically, "use the right tool for the right job". It looks like some people expect to be able to do everything through one language, and that just isn't practical.

On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 10:48 AM, c. <address@hidden> wrote:

On 21 Nov 2012, at 18:38, Dimitri Maziuk wrote:

> That is all true, but in many cases the data has to come from somewhere.
> When it comes from other applications, it comes in files in various
> formats, and that's when you start hating Jordi's #3 and 4 (and also #1
> and 9).

Indeed, so just use some other tool for doing the conversion to and from
formats that Octave likes, rather than trying to use Octave's (limited)
data structures for tasks they are not meant to accomplish.
Think of Octave as  essentially being able to deal with arrays of numbers
and little more [*].

> And as I said before, when some poor shmuck is handled a bunch of matlab
> 7.3 scripts that don't even run in 2011b and is told to run that from a
> web form, #0, 5, and 6 make sure that isn't doable.

Possibly true, but my point was that, although he does have my sympathy,
Matlab does not market to that "poor shmuck" ...

Matlab has become a de-facto standard by providing an environment where it
is easy to implement complex numerical algortihms without much knowledge of
complex data structures. This ease of use did come at a cost but, on the other
hand, it has facilitated the implementation of a huge amount of clever and
useful programs written by people who would not have taken the effort to do
so in a different language.

As I see it, Octave's purpose is to make available a similarly convenient number
crunching environment to those users that are not willing to trade Freedom for ease
of use, so it might deviate from Matlab's syntax now and then but I don't think
it would make sense to try and tronsform it into a general purpose.


P.S. On a side note, as you seem to like Python but have to deal with other people's
code written in Octave, have you ever considered using Pytave <> ?

[*] That is of course an over-simplification but if you keep low expectations you sure will
never be disappointed ;)

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