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DataSet Object — Letter to MathWorks March 15, 2007

Apr 19, 2007

Dear [MathWorks]:

It seems to me that the best solution to the DataSet Object (DSO) conflict is that we merge the functions and create something that is compatible with both systems. The resulting code could be something that you manage provided that we have some say on what functionality gets added so that it doesn’t conflict with the way our functions work. There would be several advantages to this approach.

1) We have invested a considerable amount of time and effort in our DSO and believe that it is quite well thought out and well executed. It is quite full featured compared with TMW dataset (supports n-way data, multiple sets of labels, classes and axis vectors, axis titles, etc.), and has an editor that works with it. We overloaded over 25 functions that operate on it from things like concatenation to missing data replacement. In an effort to be compatible with yours, we have already added some of the functionality of your dataset.

2) If we were to coordinate on this and offer a single standard, there is more likelihood that it be adopted by other toolboxes, including many of your own, and other 3rd party products. This promises to improve the quality and user-friendliness of many MATLAB toolboxes.

3) TMW surely has additional ideas and resources that could be used to further enhance the DSO. One thing that comes to mind is an integrated editor that is built as part of MATLAB in Java rather than the .m code editor we have now.

4) As an internal data format, the DSO provides a target for data file translation from a wide variety of sources. (We find data translation to be the single biggest impediment to adoption of MATLAB in the chemical, biological, pharma and semiconductor fields.) If the DSO was a well known standard, this should foster the development of more translation routines and thus MATLAB licenses in additional fields.

Anyhow, we’d like to talk to you about this (just like we offered 6 years ago). If you are not interested in cooperating on this, it would at least be nice if you folks would change the name of your dataset to something else. I believe 2007a is still in prerelease, so you’d have time to do that.

Best regards….


Barry M. Wise, Ph.D.
Eigenvector Research, Inc.
3905 West Eaglerock Drive
Wenatchee, WA 98801

Phone: (509)662-9213
Fax: (509)662-9214
Email: bmw@eigenvector.com
Web: eigenvector.com