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5.0 out of 5 stars Better GUIs in MATLAB, 28 July 2013
This review is from: Undocumented Secrets of MATLAB-Java Programming (Hardcover)
MATLAB's proprietary matrix math capabilities come bundled as an application with a great many third-party tools: several of them from the open-source community. MATLAB provides support for C, Fortran, Perl etc from within so it is already a polyglot development environment. As a desktop application, it relies on Java and in this book. Yair Altman shows how to harness the power of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) from within the MATLAB environment.
The emphasis is on GUIs and providing a more professional front-end for MATLAB projects - something its manufacturer seems to think is worthwhile too, as they have recently updated the MATLAB desktop to give a sleeker, more modern feel (while still using Java).
Yair covers MATLAB's uicontrols (all Java-based) as well as third-party tools - some of which are bundled with the MATLAB product (and presumably therefore used in the manufacturer's own code). He takes care to document the stability of the `undocumented' features of MATLAB that he reveals and the likelihood and risks of them disappearing in future releases.
I have used some of the undocumented features Yair has discovered (and written about previously on the web) for many years in my own code. Some modifications have been needed as MATLAB has changed - but the code still runs a decade later. The maintenance work has not been large - and likely no more than would have been required updating other GUI systems developed outside of MATLAB over the same time scale (e.g. Qt).
It is worth noting too that, as the MATLAB desktop is equipped with a full JVM, more modern JVM languages such as Scala and Groovy can also be used - and that code development using these languages and one of the many (free) IDEs that support them can be faster than MATLAB code development when dealing with non-matrix math aspects of a project. That code will also be readily portable across platforms supporting the JVM - and where appropriate can be used outside of MATLAB.
I recommend this book if you want to improve the look-and-feel of your MATLAB GUIs. The techniques introduced to do that in this book may lead you into using the JVM from MATLAB for other tasks too.
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Undocumented Secrets of MATLAB-Java Programming
Undocumented Secrets of MATLAB-Java Programming by Yair M. Altman (Hardcover - 27 Jan 2012)
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