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[seul-sci] Re: Introductions

I'm really happy to see from the introductions that we all come from a
varied set of backgrounds - Computer Engineering, Atmostpheric Research,
VLSI, Physics, and Aeronautics, Network Operations and Physical Limnology.
Those of you who haven't yet introduced yourselves, please do!

I noticed that two people, Vivien and Matias, are both working on user
interfaces for databases (gASQL at http://malerba.linuxave.net, and GNOME
Transcript at http://gtranscript.sourceforge.net/). Linux has great
databases, but as far as I can see, the main weakness for their adoption by
end users has been the lack of a good UI for building tables and queries,
and these two projects are making great strides in that direction. Perhaps
you might think about combining your strengths to build a general table and
query-building interface for the db's you already support (MySQL, PostGres).

Mario mentioned that he was working with VLSI (very large scale
integration). What sort of software are you already running for VLSI? You
probably know about the gEDA project already (http://geda.seul.org), but it
might be useful for the sort of work that you're involved with. Actually
SEUL's CVS coordinator, Ales Hvezda (ahvezda@seul.org) is leading gEDA.

Xavier's point about data acquisition in Linux still needing work semms to
be right on, as the only project I know of which deals with it -
http://mbox.troja.mff.cuni.cz/~kvasnica/samplin.html/ - seems to have gone
idle for the last few months.

I hadn't heard about the PDL-R interface, but I'm really glad to hear about
it. I think science in general is working towards large dataset analysis, so
the means to deal with it effectively is very important. I hope we hear more
about it here. :)

Miguel brings up the topic of a numerical library for Linux. I found that
the coordinator of the SAL site, Herng-Jeng Jou, has what appears to be a
fairly detailed plan (http://www.KachinaTech.COM/~hjjou/scilib/) for such a
monster. I'd invite folks to have a look and comment on it on the list, as I
think this could be a very useful toolset for scientific programming in
Linux. And by the way, I found the site Miguel mentions in his email (a
web-based table of the elements) *very* impressive. Great work!

Aaron's use of python and perl brings up an interesting point; what role can
small programs play for scientific computing? So far, the most useful
application I see is to abstract complex spreadsheet formulas into a
library. Some time ago, after a few too many late nights in the lab doing
spreadsheet work, I decided to commit some of the touchier formulas (mostly
diversity indicies) to functions. I should be porting these functions to
Gnumeric using python, perl or C soon (hopefully).

In any case, it goes without saying that if any of you would like hosting
(web, mirror, mail, lists, archives, ftp, cvs, etc.) for a GPL project, SEUL
will be more than happy to help.

Keep the intros coming! :)


Pete St. Onge