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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Matrixy Passing (Almost) All Tests

I went on a bit of a marathon today, and I'm pleased to announce that the pla_integration branch of Matrixy is passing almost all tests. All the tests that it is failing are relying on Complex number handling, which Parrot-Linear-Algebra doesn't support yet.

This is pretty big vindication that what I have been trying to do with Parrot-Linear-Algebra is going well: Despite the project being relatively young, the various matrix types provided by that project are turning out to be very stable and robust. The NumMatrix2D type is the most used and the most feature-full right now, but relative newcomer CharMatrix2D is proving to be very powerful and useful as well.

PMCMatrix2D is mostly unused for now. However, I do intend to use that in the near future to implement Cell Arrays in Matrixy. This is a feature that we had no good way of implementing in the old Matrixy, but in the new system it looks like a very natural extension of the other things I've been doing.

With Cell Arrays, it should be possible, if not easy, to properly implement variadic input and output function arguments. This is a huge issue that's preventing Matrixy's library of builtin functions from being accurate to the behavior provided by Octave or MATLAB. It's also preventing us from writing more functions directly in M, instead of in PIR. Even if we have to descend into inline PIR for some things, it would be great if we could write more code in M.

Starting tomorrow I'm going to try and add some preliminary Complex number support to Parrot-Linear-Algebra, and try to get the remaining Matrixy tests passing with it. With that we'll be back to where we were before the projects were split, and new development can begin in earnest.

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