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Matlab or Python

By Applied Electronics - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 No Comments
You are perhaps a student or a programming geek or just surfing the web who has nothing to do. Well if you are going to do something in your life programming, writing software or inventing algorithms and such sorts of thing then you might be interested in choosing between Matlab or Python programming languages. No doubt, Matlab and Python are the two most popular high level programming language. Others include Java, C, C++, perl etc but they are focussed on web or hardware.That is others are specific industry oriented. Well this is not the case for Matlab and Python. Matlab and Python are general high level languages suitable for most of the industries, whether hardware, software, algorithm, graphics etc.

So which language should you choose? Matlab or Python? Well this depends.

If you are looking for open source programming language and IDE for writing program then you should go for Python. Python is open source framework, programming language. Matlab is not. Like Matlab, Python has many modules or addon features for almost every subject- from math to physics to graphics, from neural networks to communication system to electronics or electrical engineering.

If python has everything that matlab has then why is Matlab popular and still widely used. One reason is that Matlab is older than Python. Matlab has been used over many years in colleges and university. It is also used by professionals in industries. Matlab has well organized functions and features for almost all kinds of industry that you will find ever in life. Thousands of books on matlab has been published and more are still being produced.

Python on the other hand, though it has much support for different industries, is still young relative to Python. It is catching up Matlab very fast. One of the reason is for this is that Python modules are build and published by various freelancers who does not get paid for doing that. It is because it is open source project.

One main advantage of Python is that it is all free. You can download and start writing programs immediately. No student version and no trail version.

The learning curve, the average time to learn Matlab or Python are fairly the same. Maybe Python is little bit easier to learn. Another feature that won't find in Python is the alternative to Matlab's Simulink. Simulink is a great graphical programming, system and circuit simulator. It helps you make design concept and prototype your envisioned system including dynamical systems and control system, interface with physical hardware and so on. This is still not yet developed in the Python world.

But where Python shines is in the web programming area. Matlab is still not widely used in this area which is ever growing sector.

So the fact of choosing Matlab or Python really depends on what your objectives are. The more you know what you want to achieve the better you can decide which programming language to learn. 


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