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MATLAB on Headless Linux

Written on May 13, 2009

I am trying to install MATLAB on a headless Linux server at work, and it is ridiculously miserable. I can’t believe that this is the industry standard. It is no wonder that people are switching to Python, Octave and Maxima. Between free, gratis systems and expensive with horrible installation, there is little to recommend MATLAB.

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  1. Comment by That other old guy:

    Dude, no offense, but my blurry memories of MATLAB from university (much like Mathmatica) was that it could do in a couple of lines what would take many, many lines of C code. I realize that scripting languages like Python are somewhat more efficient (not familiar with Octave or Maxima), but math and mathematic visualization are areas where a domain specific language can really kick butt.

    PS:ping me, I believe there may be beers that need to be drank, and your offspring is probably *huge* by now.

    July 8, 2009 @ 23:30
  2. Comment by yam:

    Yes, domain-specific languages pay huge dividends in their domains, and C is only efficient in computer time, not programmer time. Octave is a nearly-complete replacement for MATLAB using the same language constructs, and Maxima is a pretty good replacement for Maple, for when you need a one-off answer. Where Python pays off for my thinking is that it has a huge number of mathematical-domain-specific modules, and it plugs into just about any other language beautifully, so C++, Java, C and other libraries are all at your fingertips. That, and the ability to call other DSLs for loops or expensive calculations or visualization is a big win for me.

    July 9, 2009 @ 20:05