Monday, November 3, 2014

Matlab improvements

I went to a Matlab seminar a couple of weeks ago,  Actually, I thought that I would mostly hear about RF and microwave testing using Keysight (the company formerly known as Agilent) test equipment.  I knew they would throw in a little Matlab, especially since Keysight and MathWorks have becomes  BFFs (here or there).

I realized early in the day that it was shaping up to be a majority Matlab experience.  So I decided to roll with it and listen - besides which, I also scored a coffee mug.

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My experience with mathematical software like Matlab is complicated.  Back in grad school I test drove  an early version of Maple, and I used MathCad to make some nifty models for my thesis.  But in the working world Matlab and Labview tend to conflict more than complement - google Matlab versus Labview to see what I mean.

I had used Matlab at several different companies the past decade and viewed it as a great tool if you're a researcher trying to put something together.  But when you have to get something to test shippable product, go with the more professional Labview.

That opinion was shaken up a bit with what I saw in the seminar.  The last version I used was Matlab 2007.  The latest version (2014) has quite a few new tools.  I'm not going to make this a Matlab commercial, but here's what caught my eye:
  • Better debug support
  • Source code control
  • More tools fork converting what you just did into m-script or functions.
  • OOP support
  • Data highlighting tools
Of course, none of this means that I'll drop Labview and migrate to Matlab.  But the experience was an eye-opener...

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