PDL::Scilab (1)
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NAME
PDL::Scilab  A guide for Scilab users.INTRODUCTION
If you are a Scilab user, this page is for you. It explains the key differences between Scilab andThis document is not a tutorial. For that, go to PDL::QuickStart. This document complements the Quick Start guide, as it highlights the key differences between Scilab and
Perl
The key difference between Scilab andPerl is a general purpose programming language with thousands of modules freely available on the web.
You do not have to learn much Perl to be effective with
Perl's module repository is called
TERMINOLOGY: PIDDLE
Scilab typically refers to vectors, matrices, and arrays. Perl already has arrays, and the terms ``vector'' and ``matrix'' typically refer to one and twodimensional collections of data. Having no good term to describe their object,A piddle consists of a series of numbers organized as an Ndimensional data set. Piddles provide efficient storage and fast computation of large Ndimensional matrices. They are highly optimized for numerical work.
For more information, see "Piddles vs Perl Arrays" later in this document.
COMMAND WINDOW AND IDE
PDL interactive shell
To start the interactive shell, open a terminal and run "perldl" or "pdl2".
As in Scilab, the interactive shell is the best way to learn the
language. To exit the shell, type "exit", just like Scilab.
Writing PDL programs
One popular Whenever you write a standalone
use PDL; # Import main PDL module. use PDL::NiceSlice; # Import additional PDL module. $b = pdl [2,3,4]; # Statements end in semicolon. $A = pdl [ [1,2,3],[4,5,6] ]; # 2dimensional piddle. print $A x $b>transpose;
Save this file as "myprogram.pl" and run it with:
perl myprogram.pl
New: Flexible syntax
In very recent versions of1) Use a ';' to delimit rows:
$b = pdl q[ 2,3,4 ]; $A = pdl q[ 1,2,3 ; 4,5,6 ];
2) Use spaces to separate elements:
$b = pdl q[ 2 3 4 ]; $A = pdl q[ 1 2 3 ; 4 5 6 ];
Basically, as long as you put a "q" in front of the opening bracket,
A MODULE FOR SCILAB USERS
Here is a module that Scilab users will want to use: PDL::NiceSlice

Gives PDLa syntax for slices (submatrices) that is shorter and more familiar to Scilab users.
// Scilab b(1:5) > Selects the first 5 elements from b. # PDL without NiceSlice $b>slice("0:4") > Selects the first 5 elements from $b. # PDL with NiceSlice $b(0:4) > Selects the first 5 elements from $b.
BASIC FEATURES
This section explains howGeneral gotchas
 Indices

In PDL,indices start at '0' (like C and Java), not 1 (like Scilab). For example, if $b is an array with 5 elements, the elements would be numbered from 0 to 4.
 Displaying an object

Scilab normally displays object contents automatically. In PDLyou display objects explicitly with the "print" command or the shortcut "p":
Scilab:
> a = 12 a = 12. > b = 23; // Suppress output. >
PerlDL:
pdl> $a = 12 # No output. pdl> print $a # Print object. 12 pdl> p $a # "p" is a shorthand for "print" in the shell. 12
Creating Piddles
 Variables in PDL

Variables always start with the '$' sign.
Scilab: value = 42 PerlDL: $value = 42
 Basic syntax

Use the ``pdl'' constructor to create a new piddle.
Scilab: v = [1,2,3,4] PerlDL: $v = pdl [1,2,3,4] Scilab: A = [ 1,2,3 ; 3,4,5 ] PerlDL: $A = pdl [ [1,2,3] , [3,4,5] ]
 Simple matrices

Scilab PDL   Matrix of ones ones(5,5) ones 5,5 Matrix of zeros zeros(5,5) zeros 5,5 Random matrix rand(5,5) random 5,5 Linear vector 1:5 sequence 5
Notice that in
PDLthe parenthesis in a function call are often optional. It is important to keep an eye out for possible ambiguities. For example:pdl> p zeros 2, 2 + 2
Should this be interpreted as "zeros(2,2) + 2" or as "zeros 2, (2+2)"? Both are valid statements:
pdl> p zeros(2,2) + 2 [ [2 2] [2 2] ] pdl> p zeros 2, (2+2) [ [0 0] [0 0] [0 0] [0 0] ]
Rather than trying to memorize Perl's order of precedence, it is best to use parentheses to make your code unambiguous.
 Linearly spaced sequences

Scilab: > linspace(2,10,5) ans = 2. 4. 6. 8. 10. PerlDL: pdl> p zeroes(5)>xlinvals(2,10) [2 4 6 8 10]
Explanation: Start with a 1dimensional piddle of 5 elements and give it equally spaced values from 2 to 10.
Scilab has a single function call for this. On the other hand,
PDL's method is more flexible:pdl> p zeros(5,5)>xlinvals(2,10) [ [ 2 4 6 8 10] [ 2 4 6 8 10] [ 2 4 6 8 10] [ 2 4 6 8 10] [ 2 4 6 8 10] ] pdl> p zeros(5,5)>ylinvals(2,10) [ [ 2 2 2 2 2] [ 4 4 4 4 4] [ 6 6 6 6 6] [ 8 8 8 8 8] [10 10 10 10 10] ] pdl> p zeros(3,3,3)>zlinvals(2,6) [ [ [2 2 2] [2 2 2] [2 2 2] ] [ [4 4 4] [4 4 4] [4 4 4] ] [ [6 6 6] [6 6 6] [6 6 6] ] ]
 Slicing and indices

Extracting a subset from a collection of data is known as slicing.
The PDLshell and Scilab have a similar syntax for slicing, but there are two important differences:
1)
PDLindices start at 0, as in C and Java. Scilab starts indices at 1.2) In Scilab you think ``rows and columns''. In
PDL,think ``x and y''.Scilab PerlDL   > A pdl> p $A A = [ 1. 2. 3. [1 2 3] 4. 5. 6. [4 5 6] 7. 8. 9. [7 8 9] ]  (row = 2, col = 1) (x = 0, y = 1) > A(2,1) pdl> p $A(0,1) ans = [ 4. [4] ]  (row = 2 to 3, col = 1 to 2) (x = 0 to 1, y = 1 to 2) > A(2:3,1:2) pdl> p $A(0:1,1:2) ans = [ 4. 5. [4 5] 7. 8. [7 8] ]

 Warning

When you write a standalone PDLprogram you have to include the PDL::NiceSlice module. See the previous section "MODULES FOR SCILAB USERS" for more information.
use PDL; # Import main PDL module. use PDL::NiceSlice; # Nice syntax for slicing. $A = random 4,4; print $A(0,1);

Matrix Operations
 Matrix multiplication

Scilab: A * B PerlDL: $A x $B
 Elementwise multiplication

Scilab: A .* B PerlDL: $A * $B
 Transpose

Scilab: A' PerlDL: $A>transpose
Functions that aggregate data
Some functions (like "sum", "max" and "min") aggregate data for an Ndimensional data set. Scilab and Scilab

In Scilab, these functions work along the entire data set by default,
and an optional parameter ``r'' or ``c'' makes them act over rows or columns.
> A = [ 1,5,4 ; 4,2,1 ] A = 1. 5. 4. 4. 2. 1. > max(A) ans = 5 > max(A, "r") ans = 4. 5. 4. > max(A, "c") ans = 5. 4.
 PDL

PDLoffers two functions for each feature.
sum vs sumover avg vs average max vs maximum min vs minimum
The long name works over a dimension, while the short name works over the entire piddle.
pdl> p $A = pdl [ [1,5,4] , [4,2,1] ] [ [1 5 4] [4 2 1] ] pdl> p $A>maximum [5 4] pdl> p $A>transpose>maximum [4 5 4] pdl> p $A>max 5
Higher dimensional data sets
A related issue is how Scilab and Scilab sees a vector as a 2D matrix.

Scilab PerlDL   > vector = [1,2,3,4]; pdl> $vector = pdl [1,2,3,4] > size(vector) pdl> p $vector>dims ans = 1 4 4
Scilab sees "[1,2,3,4]" as a 2D matrix (1x4 matrix).
PDLsees it as a 1D vector: A single dimension of size 4.  But Scilab ignores the last dimension of a 4x1x1 matrix.

Scilab PerlDL   > A = ones(4,1,1); pdl> $A = ones 4,1,1 > size(A) pdl> p $A>dims ans = 4 1 4 1 1
 And Scilab treats a 4x1x1 matrix differently from a 1x1x4 matrix.

Scilab PerlDL   > A = ones(1,1,4); pdl> $A = ones 1,1,4 > size(A) pdl> p $A>dims ans = 1 1 4 1 1 4
 Scilab has no direct syntax for ND arrays.

pdl> $A = pdl [ [[1,2,3],[4,5,6]], [[2,3,4],[5,6,7]] ] pdl> p $A>dims 3 2 2
 Feature support.

In Scilab, several features are not available for ND arrays. In PDL,just about any feature supported by 1D and 2D piddles, is equally supported by Ndimensional piddles. There is usually no distinction:
Scilab PerlDL   > A = ones(3,3,3); pdl> $A = ones(3,3,3); > A' pdl> transpose $A => ERROR => OK
Loop Structures
Perl has many loop structures, but we will only show the one that is most familiar to Scilab users:
Scilab PerlDL   for i = 1:10 for $i (1..10) { disp(i) print $i end }
 Note

Never use forloops for numerical work. Perl's forloops are faster
than Scilab's, but they both pale against a ``vectorized'' operation.
PDLhas many tools that facilitate writing vectorized programs. These are beyond the scope of this guide. To learn more, see: PDL::Indexing, PDL::Threading, andPDL::PP.
Likewise, never use 1..10 for numerical work, even outside a forloop. 1..10 is a Perl array. Perl arrays are designed for flexibility, not speed. Use piddles instead. To learn more, see the next section.
Piddles vs Perl Arrays
It is important to note the difference between a Piddle and a Perl array. Perl has a generalpurpose array object that can hold any type of element:
@perl_array = 1..10; @perl_array = ( 12, "Hello" ); @perl_array = ( 1, 2, 3, \@another_perl_array, sequence(5) );
Perl arrays allow you to create powerful data structures (see Data structures below), but they are not designed for numerical work. For that, use piddles:
$pdl = pdl [ 1, 2, 3, 4 ]; $pdl = sequence 10_000_000; $pdl = ones 600, 600;
For example:
$points = pdl 1..10_000_000 # 4.7 seconds $points = sequence 10_000_000 # milliseconds
Conditionals
Perl has many conditionals, but we will only show the one that is most familiar to Scilab users:
Scilab PerlDL   if value > MAX if ($value > $MAX) { disp("Too large") print "Too large\n"; elseif value < MIN } elsif ($value < $MIN) { disp("Too small") print "Too small\n"; else } else { disp("Perfect!") print "Perfect!\n"; end }
 Note

Here is a ``gotcha'':
Scilab: elseif PerlDL: elsif
If your conditional gives a syntax error, check that you wrote your "elsif"'s correctly.
TIMTOWDI (There Is More Than One Way To Do It)
One of the most interesting differences between Perl was written by a linguist, and one of its defining properties is that statements can be formulated in different ways to give the language a more natural feel. For example, you are unlikely to say to a friend:
"While I am not finished, I will keep working."
Human language is more flexible than that. Instead, you are more likely to say:
"I will keep working until I am finished."
Owing to its linguistic roots, Perl is the only programming language with this sort of flexibility. For example, Perl has traditional whileloops and ifstatements:
while ( ! finished() ) { keep_working(); } if ( ! wife_angry() ) { kiss_wife(); }
But it also offers the alternative until and unless statements:
until ( finished() ) { keep_working(); } unless ( wife_angry() ) { kiss_wife(); }
And Perl allows you to write loops and conditionals in ``postfix'' form:
keep_working() until finished(); kiss_wife() unless wife_angry();
In this way, Perl often allows you to write more natural, easy to understand code than is possible in more restrictive programming languages.
Functions
Scilab PerlDL   function retval = foo(x,y) sub foo { retval = x.**2 + x.*y my ($x, $y) = @_; endfunction return $x**2 + $x*$y; }
Don't be intimidated by all the new syntax. Here is a quick run through a function declaration in
1) "sub`` stands for ''subroutine".
2) "my" declares variables to be local to the function.
3) "@_" is a special Perl array that holds all the function parameters. This might seem like a strange way to do functions, but it allows you to make functions that take a variable number of parameters. For example, the following function takes any number of parameters and adds them together:
sub mysum { my ($i, $total) = (0, 0); for $i (@_) { $total += $i; } return $total; }
4) You can assign values to several variables at once using the syntax:
($a, $b, $c) = (1, 2, 3);
So, in the previous examples:
# This declares two local variables and initializes them to 0. my ($i, $total) = (0, 0); # This takes the first two elements of @_ and puts them in $x and $y. my ($x, $y) = @_;
5) The "return" statement gives the return value of the function, if any.
ADDITIONAL FEATURES
Data structures
To create complex data structures, Scilab uses "lists`` and ''structs". Perl's arrays and hashes offer similar functionality. This section is only a quick overview of what Perl has to offer. To learn more about this, please go to <perldoc.perl.org/perldata.html> or run the command "perldoc perldata". Arrays

Perl arrays are similar to Scilab's lists. They are both a sequential data
structure that can contain any data type.
Scilab  list( 1, 12, "hello", zeros(3,3) , list( 1, 2) ); PerlDL  @array = ( 1, 12, "hello" , zeros(3,3), [ 1, 2 ] )
Notice that Perl array's start with the ``@'' prefix instead of the ``$'' used by piddles.
To learn about Perl arrays, please go to <perldoc.perl.org/perldata.html> or run the command "perldoc perldata".
 Hashes

Perl hashes are similar to Scilab's structure arrays:
Scilab  > drink = struct('type', 'coke', 'size', 'large', 'myarray', ones(3,3,3)) > drink.type = 'sprite' > drink.price = 12 // Add new field to structure array. PerlDL  pdl> %drink = ( type => 'coke' , size => 'large', mypiddle => ones(3,3,3) ) pdl> $drink{type} = 'sprite' pdl> $drink{price} = 12 # Add new field to hash.
Notice that Perl hashes start with the ``%'' prefix instead of the ``@'' for arrays and ``$'' used by piddles.
To learn about Perl hashes, please go to <perldoc.perl.org/perldata.html> or run the command "perldoc perldata".
Performance
 PDL::Indexing

Level: Beginner
This beginner tutorial covers the standard ``vectorization'' feature that you already know from Scilab. Use this page to learn how to avoid forloops to make your program more efficient.
 PDL::Threading

Level: Intermediate
PDL's ``vectorization'' feature goes beyond what most numerical software can do. In this tutorial you'll learn how to ``thread'' over higher dimensions, allowing you to vectorize your program further than is possible in Scilab.
 Benchmarks

Level: Intermediate
Perl comes with an easy to use benchmarks module to help you find how long it takes to execute different parts of your code. It is a great tool to help you focus your optimization efforts. You can read about it online (<perldoc.perl.org/Benchmark.html>) or through the command "perldoc Benchmark".
 PDL::PP

Level: Advanced
PDL's PreProcessor is one ofPDL's most powerful features. You write a function definition in special markup and the preprocessor generates real C code which can be compiled. WithPDL:PPyou get the full speed of native C code without having to deal with the full complexity of the C language.
Plotting
 PDL::Graphics::PGPLOT

Best for: Plotting 2D functions and data sets.
This is an interface to the venerable
PGPLOTlibrary.PGPLOThas been widely used in the academic and scientific communities for many years. In part because of its age,PGPLOThas some limitations compared to newer packages such as PLplot (e.g. noRGBgraphics). But it has many features that still make it popular in the scientific community.  PDL::Graphics::PLplot

Best for: Plotting 2D functions as well as 2D and 3D data sets.
This is an interface to the PLplot plotting library. PLplot is a modern, open source library for making scientific plots. It supports plots of both 2D and 3D data sets. PLplot is best supported for unix/linux/macosx platforms. It has an active developers community and support for win32 platforms is improving.
 PDL::Graphics::TriD

Best for: Plotting 3D functions.
The native
PDL 3Dgraphics library using OpenGL as a backend for 3D plots and data visualization. With OpenGL, it is easy to manipulate the resulting 3D objects with the mouse in real time.
Writing GUIs
Through Perl,wxWidgets is designed to make your application look and feel like a native application in every platform. For example, the Perl