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The Manifesto

Ruby has no equivalent to the beautifully constructed numpy, scipy, and matplotlib libraries for Python. We believe that the time for a Ruby science and visualization package has come and gone. Sometimes when a solution of sugar and water becomes super-saturated, from it precipitates a pure, delicious, and diabetes-inducing crystal of sweetness, induced by no more than the tap of a finger. So it is, we believe, with the need for numeric and visualization libraries in Ruby.

We are not the first with this idea, but we want to bring it to life.

Who We Are

We are Rubyists, lovers of chunky bacon, and scientists. Driven mad by the glee of our Python-loving colleagues, we came together humming Les Mis.

You should join us! Sign up by filling out this form.

Currently, we are:

  • John T. Prince, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Brigham Young University
  • John O. Woods, Marcotte Lab, The University of Texas at Austin

Why Ruby?

First and least, Ruby is a language with a sense of humor.

But more importantly, numerical computation and visualization can be done much better in Ruby, for a number of reasons:

  1. Everything returns a value. Ruby's better object model means better of chaining of computation.
  2. Iterators are way better than for loops.
  3. Metaprogramming. Sometimes the simplest solution is to write a code generator. Sometimes, eigenclasses are the cleanest.

Alternatives and Sources of Inspiration

  • rsruby, rinruby, simpler: gems that allow use of R through Ruby.
  • flotomatic: Rails gem for the Flot Javascript library, for web data visualization.
  • NArray: Numerical Ruby NArray and Ruby/PGPLOT.
  • Ruby GSL: Ruby interface for the GNU Scientific Library