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a plea for more reliable mathematical routines

> In addition, it seems that RSI has done a sloppy job integrating LSODE
> into IDL.  they don't support all the options the original LSODE has,
> including the useful ones, like single-stepping through the integration.
> the documentation seems haphazardly put together.  for example, their
> description of output value STATUS=3 is
> "The integration was performed successfully, and no roots were found"
> what roots?? anyway, this makes me doubt the correctness of the
> implementation.

I have the same uneasiness about the implementation of mathematics
routines in IDL, having 
found some simple errors in things like CURVEFIT over the past few
years. If RSI wants
to make inroads into the serious scientific computing arena, they will
have to hire some
mathematicians who will take the time and care to make sure that the
mathematical functions
really are properly handled. Otherwise, folks will head off to MATLAB or
Fortran (gasp!) or
other languages where you can count on getting a Bessel function when
you call a Bessel
function, or get a random number when you want one. I for one would
prefer that RSI 
consolidate their current program structure and shore up the
computational and mathematical
functions to be competitive with other programs.

Dick French