In article <1138774740.285273.21190 / z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
Darren L. Weber <darrenleeweber / gmail.com> wrote:
>
>Hi,
>
>I've been programming with perl, a bit of python and a lot of matlab.
>I've become very curious about ruby and considering whether or not to
>take it on as my main development environment in the near future.  I
>could use some good advice before I dive into the deep end.
>
>I'm looking at Ruby for scripting/programming of scientific computing
>for neuroimaging.  This includes time-series plots and analysis, image
>volume segmentation and rendering, surface modeling, visualization and
>morphing, and animating scalar and vector quanities on surfaces.  Also
>linear algrebra methods and spatial transformations, almost any
>scientific computation you can imagine, especially large scale
>statistical analysis (including permutations).  Did I leave anything
>out?  What about threading and distributed cluster systems?  I could
>really use some tips on whether Ruby is a good choice for this work and
>where to find projects that already fit into this picture.
>
>So, I'm wonder if ruby has wrapped things like: VTK, ITK, The R-project
>for stats, OpenGL, wxWindows, scientific libraries (eg, GNU GSL,
>Atlas/Lapack), graphics libraries, etc.  Any good advice on getting
>started with these tools would be great.

wxWindows, GSL, OpenGL are there, I believe.  Not sure about the rest.

It would be nice to get a nice Ruby->R bridge and it could probably be 
very Rubyish (maybe a DSL built on Ruby).

>
>There is some momentum in this area using python already.  Why should I
>use Ruby instead of Python?  One thing that I've noticed is that python
>distribution and installation methods are clumsy.  

Well, that could be your reason.  The other thing to consider is which language 
you prefer.  While many people will claim they are equivilent, there are 
differences both feature-wise and less tangible differences.  Check out Bruce 
Eckel's recent post at Artima, for example.

>If I want some
>python package for neuroimaging, I have to find and install many
>additional dependencies before I even get started.  As a Debian user,
>the apt system helps, but it's still not quite what I want.  Ruby has
>the gem system that appears to do the job right.

You should definitely check ou the SciRuby site:
http://sciruby.codeforpeople.com/

You should also check out narray for high speed vector math in Ruby.

Phil