[Zope-Annce] Initial Releases of MatLabDA, Latex- and Graph Method
Sat, 22 Sep 2001 22:51:51 -0500
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.
** 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.
** 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
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
CBU - Physics and Chemistry Student
Web2k - Web Design/Development & Technical Project Management