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*Subject*: Re: a plea for more reliable mathematical routines*From*: Theo Brauers <th.brauers(at)fz-juelich.de>*Date*: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 14:22:08 +0200*Newsgroups*: comp.lang.idl-pvwave*Organization*: Forschungszentrum Juelich*References*: <7r90g4$rqb$1@nnrp1.deja.com> <37D82EA9.BA62A369@wellesley.edu> <7re25a$dvm$1@news.doit.wisc.edu>*Xref*: news.doit.wisc.edu comp.lang.idl-pvwave:16529

Liam Gumley wrote: > > Richard G. French <rfrench@wellesley.edu> wrote in message > 37D82EA9.BA62A369@wellesley.edu">news:37D82EA9.BA62A369@wellesley.edu... > > I have the same uneasiness about the implementation of mathematics > > routines in IDL, having > > found some simple errors in things like CURVEFIT over the past few > > years. If RSI wants > > to make inroads into the serious scientific computing arena, they will > > have to hire some > > mathematicians who will take the time and care to make sure that the > > mathematical functions > > really are properly handled. Otherwise, folks will head off to MATLAB or > > Fortran (gasp!) or > > other languages where you can count on getting a Bessel function when > > you call a Bessel function, or get a random number when you want one. > > I believe there is a market for either an add-on Mathematical Toolbox, or > preferably built-in access to a selection of routines from a well-respected > mathematical library like BLAS, LAPACK, CMLIB, NAG etc. For example, NAG > developed an add-on library for Matlab: > > http://www.nag.co.uk/nagware/NN.html > > I think many people would be more than willing to either upgrade their IDL > version, or buy an add-on toolbox, if it gave them access to a set of > high-quality numerical routines. A user survey would no doubt tell RSI very > quickly which routines people would like to see (Bessel functions and random > numbers have been mentioned). > > Cheers, > Liam. > http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/~gumley/ In our group we do rely on a number of the built-in math routines of IDL and I would really appreciate if this group could assemble a warning list of bugs in the math routines of IDL. IMO most of the IDL user/programmers do simple checks for the correctness of their code but they might never check the math routines in detail. I would also prefer to have access to a full set of IMSL or NAG or ... The implementation of the Numerical recipies sucks since a number of routines are not available. Some features are avialable through the astro/JHU .. libs (Thanks to these folks) but the standard quality control of IMSL/NAG wont be possible. I also think that each mathematical function/procedure needs describtion of the formula/algorithm used. Some of the routines ie. R_CORRELATE have it, but the help description of P_CORRELATE or CURVEFIT is just incomplete. The note: "This routine is written in the IDL language. Its source code can be found in the file r_correlate.pro in the lib subdirectory of the IDL distribution." sounds like "Dear user: if you want to debug our routine please feel free to do so." I think it is great that the source is available, however, I dont want to spend my time debugging RSI provided routines. Best, Theo

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: a plea for more reliable mathematical routines***From:*Jonathan Joseph

**Re: a plea for more reliable mathematical routines***From:*George White

**References**:**ODEPACK***From:*ushomirs

**a plea for more reliable mathematical routines***From:*Richard G. French

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