I’ve been programming with perl, a bit of python and a lot of matlab.
I’ve become very curious about ruby and considering whether or not to
take it on as my main development environment in the near future. I
could use some good advice before I dive into the deep end.
I’m looking at Ruby for scripting/programming of scientific computing
for neuroimaging. This includes time-series plots and analysis, image
volume segmentation and rendering, surface modeling, visualization and
morphing, and animating scalar and vector quanities on surfaces. Also
linear algrebra methods and spatial transformations, almost any
scientific computation you can imagine, especially large scale
statistical analysis (including permutations). Did I leave anything
out? What about threading and distributed cluster systems? I could
really use some tips on whether Ruby is a good choice for this work and
where to find projects that already fit into this picture.
So, I’m wonder if ruby has wrapped things like: VTK, ITK, The R-project
for stats, OpenGL, wxWindows, scientific libraries (eg, GNU GSL,
Atlas/Lapack), graphics libraries, etc. Any good advice on getting
started with these tools would be great.
There is some momentum in this area using python already. Why should I
use Ruby instead of Python? One thing that I’ve noticed is that python
distribution and installation methods are clumsy. If I want some
python package for neuroimaging, I have to find and install many
additional dependencies before I even get started. As a Debian user,
the apt system helps, but it’s still not quite what I want. Ruby has
the gem system that appears to do the job right.