From: <jks@ik...>  20070225 16:50:25

"Barry Wark" <barrywark@...> writes: > Yes, I agree. I wasn't coming at so much from the goal of making Pylab > a Matlab clone (as you point out, that's silly, and misses much of the > advantage of Python), but rather from the goal of making interactive > use as efficient as possible. When I fire up ipython pylab to do some > quick exploration, it's nice not to have to type N.blah or pylab.plot IMHO the greatest strength of Matlab in interactive use is the matrix input format. For one thing, it is easier to type something like [0 1 0; 1 0 0; 0 0 1] than array([[0,1,0],[1,0,0],[0,0,1]]) Granted, you can often leave out the array() wrapper, but typing all the commas and brackets and getting the nesting right slows me down enough that using Python feels like tedious work where Matlab is more like an Emacslike extension of the mind. Another neat feature is autoflattening: to e.g. add row and columnwise sums and a grand total to a matrix M, you can type [M sum(M,2); sum(M,1) sum(M(:))] compared to which the r_[] and c_[] syntax feels like an ugly hack. (Of course, the autoflattening feature is a disaster for serious programming (as opposed to quick interactive work), so Matlab has added cell arrays which don't autoflatten, leading to no end of confusion between [] and {} indexing and the need to add {:} in seemingly random spots in Matlab code.) I suppose these things could be addressed quite neatly by IPython. It could even modify your history similarly to what it currently does with the %magic commands, so that when you type a = [0 1 0; 1 0 0; 0 0 1] and then examine your history, you see a = array([[0,1,0],[1,0,0],[0,0,1]]) which you could copypaste into the program you are developing. Perhaps the namespace issue could also be addressed at the IPython level. The pylab profile could import the various packages, perhaps with some kind of abbreviated names, and rewrite commands like a = array(...) plot(sin(a)) to a = numpy.array(...) pylab.plot(numpy.sin(a)) so again you could copy/paste from the history to an editor and get correctly Pythonic code without any "from ... import *". Probably a 100% solution is quite difficult because of the dynamic features in Python, but it seems to me that a 80% solution should be feasible. (Parse the input to an AST using the parser facility in the Python library, use a tree walker to find all references to functions or variables, and if they don't exist in locals() or globals() and are not the target of an assignment anywhere in the AST, replace them by references to the appropriate package.)  Jouni K. Seppänen http://www.iki.fi/jks 