[Israel.pm] PDL

Yosef Meller mellerf at netvision.net.il
Mon Jul 9 06:23:21 PDT 2007

ציטוט Amir E. Aharoni:
> Hi,
> I'm trying to move away from Windows as much as i can. I don't need it
> for anything, but my wife is doing her second degree in Physics (she
> is a lot more smarter than i am) and she is a heavy user of scientific
> software, in particular MATLAB.
> I don't know almost anything about this kind of software, but some
> people claim that PDL is a worthy and free competitor to MATLAB.

If MATLAB is her preferred environment, I would suggest GNU-Octave as a 
free replacement. It lags behind in graphics, but other than that it's 
very useful, and Octave 3.0 is nearing its release and promises to close 
most of the gap.

> Does anyone on this list have positive experience with it? If you can
> compare it to MATLAB, it would be nice too.

I have a negative experience with PDL - after I wrote some program with 
it, when I upgraded PDL I suddenly found that I have no eigenvalues 
because of a bug, so my program wouldn't work at all.

The only thing I can really say about it is that if you must use Perl 
for physics work, PDL is probably better than plain Perl.

> I know i can search for such comparisons on the web, but it will be
> particularly useful to know how does PDL fit into the Israeli academic
> environment (my wife studies in the Hebrew University) - for example
> would it possible to prepare a thesis in Physics in HUJI or Technion
> (solid state, semiconductors, etc.) using PDL instead of MATLAB.
> Many thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

Also there's numpy for Pythoneers, scilab (not exactly MATLAB 
compatible, but close enough), and possibly others.

And on the non-free front, MATLAB is available for Linux too.

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