Building "serious" scientific applications with RunRev...

Alex Rice alex at
Fri Nov 8 11:44:01 EST 2002

On Friday, November 8, 2002, at 06:49  AM, Peter Lundh wrote:
> This autumn I started my PhD on Colour Imaging Science at the Derby
> University, UK. A requirement at the institute is knowledge of MatLab 
> and
> "C" - MatLab for modeling and C for compiling applications. MatLab I 
> know,
> so that's ok - but now I have to learn "C" on top of all the other 
> things I
> have to do.
> So my question is the following: Could Revolution (since I'm already
> familiar with it and like it!) be a substitute for "C" when developing
> scientific applications? Typical needs would be the ability to read,
> manipulate, display and output different types of image data, 
> Possibility to
> compute Matrix, Fourier and Polynomial algorithms etc.

I don't have any direct experience, but here is my opinion-- Revolution 
would be no match for a highly optimized C library for a particular 
purpose, like imaging or crunching matrices and things.

If I were you, I would go ahead and learn C. C is not a very big or 
complex language; Unlike C++ <shudder> which is a monster of a 
language. Get the book _The C Programming Language_ by Kernighan and 
Ritchie (270pp) which will get you up to speed on ANSI C.

Then you could learn how to write Revolution externals. Then you can 
have the best of both worlds: Quickly build apps with nice GUIs in 
Revolution, which have access to Matlab or other imaging and math 
libraries that exist out there. If there is a fast imaging or maths 
library that exists out there, it's probably written in C and you don't 
want to spend time rewriting it in Rev. You want to start using it ASAP 
and that's where externals come in.

Not that I have ever written an external or anything, mind you. ;-)

Alex Rice, Software Developer
Architectural Research Consultants, Inc.
alrice at
alex_rice at

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