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Re: IDL vs. matlab

Bruno wrote:
> Just want to get the group's opinion regarding this. I am an undergrad and I
> am thinking about buying IDL or MATLAB (student version). Most of my friends
> are advising for the latter software product since it's apparently more
> powerful and widely available on university systems. What do you think?

Wasn't this just posted the other day?

IMO, IDL and Matlab are the same dog, but different leg. Slightly different, but not much.
With regard to getting your research work done (by that I mean number crunching) and
producing results, no difference. With regard to the "feel" of either - well it depends if
you prefer a more Fortran-like language syntax (IDL) or a more C-like one (Matlab). The
cost of both is about the same for the same functionality (University academic discounts
and campus licenses notwithstanding) I've used both but long ago settled on IDL because I
could change the filename from xxx.pro to xxx.f90 and then, after adding data type
declarations, either sed or edit/global-replace my way to a working piece of distributable
fortran90 code (sans graphics of course).

The only thing I would be wary about - since you mention you are getting the student
version(s) - is that the functionality you need is present. In the past student versions
of one or the other (or both) have had limits that could hamper you in your work.


Paul van Delst           A little learning is a dangerous thing;
CIMSS @ NOAA/NCEP        Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring;
Ph: (301)763-8000 x7274  There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
Fax:(301)763-8545        And drinking largely sobers us again.
paul.vandelst@noaa.gov                   Alexander Pope.