Cameron McBride wrote:
> On 11/13/07, Sean Surname <x3qh85202 / sneakemail.com> wrote:
>> M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:
>>> As far as sharing data is concerned, to keep everybody's garbage
>>> collectors and memory allocators happy and segfault-free, you probably
>>> need to do explicit transfers of data between the various packages,
>> This is a significant barrier.  Having to marshal and unmarshal your
>> data whenever you go from one domain to another is annoying.  It's a
>> large part of what we're trying to avoid in moving away from a
>> multi-language solution.  I think Ruby's got the right ingredients to
>> pull this stuff together: dynamism, easy C interaction, and flexible and
>> unobtrusive syntax.  But someone needs to sit down and do some Serious
>> Work before it's a viable Matlab replacement.  I've made a couple of
>> half-hearted tries, but it's hard to make progress piece-by-piece when
>> you're trying to generate results right-this-minute.
> 
> so, so, so true.  I, also, have had some half-hearted attempts to make
> some things work - but it's difficult.  While I still don't use
> matlab, I'm not exceptionally happy with the current state of my
> workflow.  I also believe that Ruby has a lot of the right things to
> make a fantastic solution.  Unfortunately, years later, I have to
> agree - it requires some Serious Work and I'm not sure how/if/when I
> can make it happen.  Also, besides a select few - it doesn't appear
> that many care to make ruby stretch far in that realm.  The select few
> seem to be rather satisfied with current solutions (say, a certain
> advocate of RSRuby ;) While unfortunate, it makes sense - it's not a
> very large user base.
> 
> I have a lot of numerical processing scripts in ruby.  Mostly they are
> hybrids of NArray and GSL, with a few of Ara's tricks and C extensions
> thrown in.   Since my focus has also been results ASAP, I've had
> little time to generalize / sync these efforts.  In addition, I sorely
> miss direct graphics (note: I'm not a fan of how GSL shellsout to
> graph, or many of the other solutions.  The closest to what I like is
> the NArray/PGPLOT extension, but PGPLOT itself is better when not used
> directly).
> 
> It'd be great to find a few like minded people and work together to
> garner and keep momentum for such a project.  Given the small number
> of interested people, and the fact that "like-minded solutions" don't
> seem to overlap between them - I'm skeptical of it happening.  However
> unlikely, I still cling to hope...  ;)
> 
> Cameron
> 
> 

Well ...

1. Ruby is the newest language in my toolbox, running something like six 
years behind R and ten years behind Perl. The other side of that coin, 
though, is that I've *never* learned Python and don't plan to. :)

2. As long as your focus is results ASAP, you're always going to favor 
the old tools and quick hacks like shelling out to the command line 
interface of your favorite open-source application for the domain of 
interest.

3. As I noted on another post, there is a "scientific Ruby" project. So 
there is a place for "us".