In article <442B7BA3.104 / cesmail.net>,
M. Edward (Ed) Borasky <znmeb / cesmail.net> wrote:
>Phil Tomson wrote:
>> This has come up before, but maybe we need a Ruby-based DSL that could be aimed 
>> squarely at the likes of Matlab and R. 
>When you say "we", who are you referring to? People who only know Ruby?
>As far as *I* am concerned, R, Axiom and Maxima are (open source) Domain
>Specific Languages for mathematics. Ruby is a general-purpose
>object-oriented language. Sure, Ruby is good for building
>domain-specific languages, but you just aren't going to reinvent all
>those wheels in Ruby.

Where reinvention would take too long, then perhaps it would be best to build 
bridges.  I guess in my case I'd like to see something that could take on 
Matlab (a closed source product).  

Hey, a couple of years ago we were here in this group discussing how Ruby could 
have an impact in the Web Programming arena since it looked like Ruby was an 
also-ran in that area (there were so many tools that were already dominant in 
that space - or so it seemed).  Now Rails has changed all of that.  Scientific 
computing/ mathematics is another area where there's room for innovation.  

Maybe we take this proposed tool in a slightly different direction.  Make 
it easy to make things web-enabled for example, or maybe make it easy to use in 
a cluster environment (taking advantage of drb).  A LaTeX equation to 
RubyMathDSL translator.  Maybe a Rails, RubyMathDSL, LaTeX mashup where your 
'paper' is some sort of interactive document where you can interact with 
equations and graphs and maybe something that would make it easier to do 
collaborative research where the data in your paper can be referenced by 
other interactive papers which can make use of that data in interesting ways 
and add to it and... Ok, it's getting a bit 
wierd, I'll admit.  I'm just trying to spark a bit of brainstorming here...

However that bit about data-sharing between interactive papers seems kind of 
cool.  It would give a whole new meaning to a 'bibliography' and 'references'.  
It's not easy right now to share data like that.  When I'm reading papers I 
sometimes think "They spent all this time gathering or generating all of this 
wonderful data and putting it into nice little tables or graphs, but there's 
really no way for me to access it".  Of course this would require a whole new 
infrastructure for publishing papers as web apps, but this is 2006 afterall. 

Phil