[Zope-Annce] Initial Releases of MatLabDA, Latex- and Graph Method

Stephan Richter srichter@cbu.edu
Sat, 22 Sep 2001 22:51:51 -0500

Hello everyone,

Due to the intensive work on zQuest, I was able to finish a lot of work. 
Since some of the development for zQuest can be split into several small 
Products, I decided to take today off and do that. So three products were born:

** MatLab DA and Method **
This product allows you to "connect" to the MatLab Kernel and then execute 
mathematical expressions (in MatLab syntax). Each statement is separated by 
a new line. Some of the nicer features are actually in the MatLab 
Connection component. It keeps a pool (size is specified by user) of 
connections to the MatLab Kernel. When a query is executed the used 
connection is locked (and afterwards released) to provide a maximally 
optimized response time.
Originally Zope and PyMat (The module used to connect to MatLab) did not 
like each other, since Zope would regularly reload modules causing the 
PyMat module to produce a segmentation fault. Thanks to Jason Orendorff's 
"DestructionListener" idea I was able to catch the reload occurrences and 
handle them gracefully.

URL: http://demo.iuveno-net.de/iuveno/Products/MatLabDA

** Latex Method **
Using the Latex Method one can compile math-mode Latex code into an image 
that is displayed. The LatexMethod uses the Image class as base, so that 
the same API applies. The Latex Method is very flexible and supports the 
AMS (American Mathematical Society) Latex Extensions.
It might seem that there are many requirements associated with this 
product, but I developed on a standard RedHat Linux machine and I had no 
problems. All tools (Latex, Ghostview, small conversion tools) were all 
there by default.

URL: http://demo.iuveno-net.de/iuveno/Products/LatexMethod

** Graph Method **
The Graph Method is similar to the Latex Method in the sense that it 
creates an image from a given piece of code. In fact, the object provides a 
nice graphing environment based on PIL (Python Imaging Library). On top of 
PIL there are several other features. For educational purposes it is often 
nice to have "moving pictures", so I added Animation support to allow 
animated GIFs (using GIFSicle, which you will need to install).
Furthermore there are a couple of very useful components that can be used 
to quickly generate nice results: Arrow, Vector, Grid, Axis, Coordinate 
System, Data Point, Function Curve and Random Data Curve. A complete API 
reference can be found in the Appendix of the zQuest Users manual, which 
can be downloaded from 

URL: http://demo.iuveno-net.de/iuveno/Products/LatexMethod

I hope that you will find one or the other product useful and will try it. 
Since they all have outside dependencies, I would like to hear about your 
experiences. As always, I am thankful to any comments, suggestions and 


Stephan Richter
CBU - Physics and Chemistry Student
Web2k - Web Design/Development & Technical Project Management