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SuSE 11.3 - man page for pdl (suse section 1)

INTRO(1)		       User Contributed Perl Documentation			 INTRO(1)

NAME
       PDL::Intro - Introduction to the Perl Data Language

       Version 2.4

       "Why is it that we entertain the belief that for every purpose odd numbers are the most
       effectual?" - Pliny the Elder.

       Karl Glazebrook [karlglazebrook@yahoo.com] and Craig DeForest  [deforest@boulder.swri.edu

DESCRIPTION
       Perl Data Language (PDL) is a perl extension that is designed for scientific and bulk
       numeric data processing and display.  It extends perl's syntax and includes fully
       vectorized, multidimensional array handling, plus several paths for device-independent
       graphics output.

       "pdl" is an interactive command shell that is supplied with PDL; for more information, see
       perldl(1).

       Because PDL is a modular extension to perl, it is accessible to ordinary perl scripts: to
       write a command-line PDL script you just say "use PDL;" at the top of an ordinary perl
       script.	There is also a specialized interactive shell (perldl(1)) that allows you to
       issue PDL commands interactively and that includes a path-based subroutine autoloader
       similar to those found in MatLab and IDL (which are trademarks of MathWorks and Kodak,
       respectively).  The perldl shell allows you to quickly manipulate and "play with" your
       data.  (You can also invoke it with the shorter command "pdl").

       The "PDL" module is a complete Object-Oriented extension to Perl (although you don't have
       to know what an object is to use it) which allows large N-dimensional data sets, such as
       large images, spectra, time series, etc to be stored efficiently and manipulated en masse.
       For example with the PDL module we can write the perl code "$a=$b+$c", where $b and $c are
       large datasets (e.g. 2048x2048 images), and get the result in only a fraction of a second.

       PDL variables (or piddles as they have come to be known) support a wide range of
       fundamental data types - arrays can be bytes, short integers (signed or unsigned), long
       integers, floats or double precision floats. And because of the Object-Oriented nature of
       PDL new customised datatypes can be derived from them.

       Perl is an extremely good and versatile scripting language, well suited to beginners, and
       allows rapid prototyping.  The PDL extensions to the language use Perl's object-oriented
       capabilities to seamlessly add high-speed scientific capabilities that are themselves
       written in perl, C and/or FORTRAN as appropriate -- so your code's "hot spots" run at
       native compiled-language speed, while you work in the higher level perl language (which
       itself runs faster than many other JIT-compiled or interpreted languages).

       External modules that have been incorporated into PDL include the complete Gnu Scientific
       Library; CFITSIO for FITS file handling; FFTW; the Slatec matrix-handling package; and the
       PGPLOT, PLPLOT, Karma, and OpenGL graphics libraries.  Ancillary packages written in PDL
       itself include image handling, curve fitting, matrix manipulation, coordinate
       transformation, nonlinear data resampling, graphics I/O, and extensive file I/O utilities.
       Because PDL programs are "just" perl with additional modules loaded, the entire CPAN
       archive is also available to your PDL scripts.

SYNOPSIS
       This manual page provides a general introduction to the underlying philosophy of PDL. For
       an overview over the rest of the documentation see PDL::Index. As a beginner the following
       documents are particulary recommended:

       PDL::Impatient
	   Quick summary - PDL for the impatient

       PDL::FAQ
	   The Frequently Asked Questions list for PDL.

       PDL::Philosophy
	   Why another matrix language?

       PDL::Indexing
	   An introduction to using smart indices in PDL.

       PDL::NiceSlice
	   The all important slicing of piddles.

AUTHOR
       Copyright (C) Karl Glazebrook (karlglazebrook@yahoo.com), Tuomas J. Lukka,
       (lukka@husc.harvard.edu) and Christian Soeller (c.soeller@auckland.ac.nz) 1997-2002.

       Commercial reproduction of this documentation in a different format is forbidden without
       permission.

perl v5.12.1				    2009-10-17					 INTRO(1)


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