Re: Scientific Applications

Mark> I was wondering if anyone has had any thoughts about Gnome/GTK
Mark> based scientific applications for the desktop?

Sure -- somebody on this list has an opinion on just about any topic!
(And usually it's me :-)

Mark> I have been thinking specifically about the areas covered by
Mark> commercial Windows/Macintosh applications such as SigmaPlot,
Mark> SYSTAT & GraphPad which don't appear to have any comparable
Mark> 'competition' in the free software world.

I don't know anything about these tools.  But I do know of some other
free scientific tools:

* Octave - a Matlab clone.  Said to be weak in the graphics
  department.  It would be cool to have a Gnome UI for this; even
  cooler if it were noticeably better than whatever Matlab provides
  (I'm only passingly familiar with Matlab)

* Gnudl - A free data manipulation language based on Guile.
  Mark Galassi is working on this, as well as a project to write
  the underlying numerical library (I forget what this project
  is called).

* Fiasco - A free replacement for SPSS (I gather this is some kind
  of statistical package)

Maybe there are others as well.  It's no longer really possible to
keep track of all the free software projects going on.

One thing I think would be interesting would be to see if it is
possible to separate out the display functionality from the underlying
computation engine.  Then any of the tools could connect to the
display program via CORBA.

It would probably be worthwhile to look at GNUplot as a place to start
for handling the display.  It's possible that this isn't really the
best idea, though; as I recall GNUplot has an odd license (the name
"GNU" is a coincidence...).  Anyway it's worth considering.

Another route would be to just improve the graphics display in Octave,
or add a user interface to one of the other existing packages.  That
would also be useful.  A lot depends on how much time you have, etc.


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