EngLab: A Gift of a Program for Engineers


It's well known that engineers don't get as much respect as they deserve in this country, but at least they've now got EngLab:

EngLab is an Open Source Mathematical and Engineering platform intended for users with little or no programming knowledge.

A kind of MatLab for engineers? Well, not exactly:

Unlike other similar projects, e.g. Octave, EngLab is not intended to be a MATLAB clone. On the contrary, EngLab seeks to provide an alternative approach to the mathematical/calculational problems engineers and scientists face in their field of expertise. Using C-like syntax, multiple type variables and a continuously extensible set of toolboxes, EngLab lays out an easy-to-use and powerful environment for engineers and scientists with experience or not.

A little specialised then, but of note for two reasons. First, it is yet another example of open source moving outside the mainstream applications. And secondly, this is Greek open source:

On June 2007 some students of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki were fed up with existing mathematical platforms, either commercial or open source. The reason was that a lot of their class projects had to be designed in those platforms, since there was a huge already established toolbox base that was fast to use, but there were significant drawbacks:

The programing language was un-scientific and irregular.
In order to use the toolboxes you had to program through an interpreted language that significantly decreased the speed of execution
Only a narrow subset of common data types was supported
Dynamic allocation of memory space was slow

So they decided to start writing a new platform application that would be open source, fast, scientific and scalable.

No need to fear *these* Greeks bearing gifts, since EngLab is released under the totally safe GNU GPLv2.

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