[om] Matlab phrasebook?

Andrew Solomon andrew at illywhacker.net
Mon Oct 22 06:22:01 CEST 2001

Dear Richard,

> Cheers

Thank you for your cheery email.

On Sun, Oct 21, 2001 at 06:53:52PM -0700, Richard Fateman wrote:
> At the risk of pointing out the obvious,
> if Javamath wishes to communicate with a Matlab session,
> then the simple and obvious method is to use character
> strings that look like Matlab commands. 

This is certainly enough for some purposes and JavaMath 
allows you to install a compute server which communicates in 
its native language or OpenMath or both. 

> That is certainly
> the way I did it in Macsyma, circa 1979. The return
> journey is via arrays of floats.

Although you may not be aware of this, some mathematical objects
are neither easily nor naturally represented as arrays of floats.

> Converting to an openmath XML object in between is
> pointless, I think, unless maybe array of float
> is going to benefit from being copied over a few
> extra times. 

OpenMath is helpful in the case you're using Matlab to process the
output of another computer algebra system which also speaks
OpenMath. This is just one example.

> Or if someone is paying you to do
> openmath, regardless of its utility.

No-one is paying me to "do OpenMath" as you put it.
Frankly, I find your remark offensive.

> There are, I suspect, entirely other issues that make
> Matlab semantics unwelcome in the rest of the world, at
> least if it is still the way I remember it:  the meaning of a
> variable Z depends upon whether there happens to be a file in some
> file directory with that name.  Is Z a function or an array?
> Whose file directory are you talking about?

No-one is forcing you to use MATLAB but some people apparently find it

Honestly, Richard, you must be the only living computer scientist 
who doesn't acknowledge the utility of establishing standards to ease the
path to interoperability and accessibility. If the idea offends you so much
I suggest you unsubscribe from this list since it is our basic premise.



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