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MathGroup Archive 1996

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Re: Please help newbie (please read)

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg3818] Re: [mg3773] Please help newbie (please read)
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz>
  • Date: Sat, 27 Apr 1996 00:57:25 -0400
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

> Hello,
> Please help me in my li'l problem.I am writing a program under windows
> (Delphi, but I could mix with other languages), that makes a lot of
> matrix operations.
> 
> I would like to know if it is possible to make a link between my
> program and Mathematica, so that my program would send the data of the
> problem to mathematica, and mathemat. would perform the
> calculations...

This certainly is possible using MathLink, Mathematica's connection
protocol.  Using MathLink, you can allow any arbitrary program to control
Mathematica (in fact, the notebook front end is one such arbitrary program,
which controls the kernel over MathLink).  However, using MathLink in
this case won't be trivial, especially since the only MathLink developer's
kit which is available is for C.  Under Windows, MathLink is implemented in
a DLL, so you can access MathLink functions from any language (in fact, one
example on the developer's kit illustrates a Visual Basic interface), but
this requires you know enough about Delphi to know how to interface with
DLL's.  It would also help a lot if you had a background in C so that
you could better understand the documentation.

Recommended readings for doing this:

* A MathLink Tutorial by Todd Gayley (available in notebook or PostScript
  form on MathSource--http://www.wolfram.com/mathsource/-- as reference
  number 0206-693.

* The MathLink Reference Guide (this comes with professional versions of
  Mathematica, and can also be ordered from Wolfram Research).

* You'll also need the MathLink developer's kit for Windows; same stipulations
  for this as for the reference guide.

* Additionally, if you have a registered copy of the professional
  version of Mathematica, Wolfram Research's tech support engineers
  write your program for you, and they probably don't know much about
  Delphi, but if you have a reasonably focused question about MathLink,
  they should be able to help you out....

> When mathem. would have done it, to get the results back in the
> 'calling program' so it can present the results to the user.
> 
> Is it possible to do something like this with mathem ?
> If it is not possible to do that in mathemat., what about Matlab and
> Mathcad ?

Matlab offers an "engine" interface which is somewhat simpler to pick
up than MathLink, but limited compared to what MathLink offers.  Don't
know anything about Mathcad.

> What are the basic differences between MATLAB and those other software
> , and which one is most user friendly in its use ?
> Thank's to help a beginner !!

Well, I'm probably the wrong person to ask, as I am incredibly biased :).
I'll let the more objective parties of this list answer your question.

> Marc.

Sincerely,

John Fultz
jfultz at wolfram.com
Applications Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

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