Rlab Web Site

Ian Searle
Courtesy of sourcefoge.net

Last Updated: 2005-06-08


2005-06-08: Marijan Kostrum is actively using and developing RLaBPlus. You can check it out at http://rlabplus.sourceforge.net

2001-07-13: RLaB is no longer under active development. Actually, it has not really been under active development for some time. But, it is official now. I will maintain this site, and continue to provide minimilistic support for RLaB. Ian Searle.

Rlab is an interactive, interpreted scientific programming environment. Rlab is a very high level language intended to provide fast prototyping and program development, as well as easy data-visualization, and processing. Rlab is not a clone of languages such as those used by tools like Matlab or Matrix-X/Xmath. However, as Rlab focuses on creating a good experimental environment (or laboratory) in which to do matrix math, it can be called ``Matlab-like''; since the programming language possesses similar operators and concepts.

Rlab does not try to be a Matlab clone. Instead, it borrows what I believe are the best features of the Matlab language and provides improved language syntax and semantics. The syntax has been improved to allow users more expression and reduce ambiguities. The variable scoping rules have been improved to facilitate creation of larger programs and program libraries. A heterogeneous associative array has been added to allow users to create and operate on arbitrary data structures. The fundamental data type is a floating point matrix (either real or complex), though RLaB also includes string matrices, and sparse numerical matrices (both real and complex).

Rlab is copyrighted with the GNU General Public License, and is free (in the GNU sense) for all to use. This is the place to find out about it.



Some time ago I wrote an article for the Linux Journal titled An Introduction to Rlab. This article is as good an introduction as any. Note that this article is a little bit dated. I will be updating it soon (1/9/2000)

Once upon a time, I also wrote a short article titled: Why Rlab. This article is an attempt to explain why you might choose Rlab instead of, say Matlab. If you read this, consider that it was originally written in 1992. Matlab has change significantly since then, and made several of the arguments in this article invalid.

If you want all the gory details, the RLaB Reference Manual is online in HTML form.

What's New


In the past, Rlab has been available from a variety of sites, in various source, and pre-compiled forms. Presently, I can not afford the time to copy Rlab distributions to other sites. If you have a special version of Rlab, either binary or source, I am happy to put a link herein if you email the necessary information, and keep the distribution up to date.

Source Distribution

The source comes in a single gzip'ed tar file. It should build fairly easily on most Unix variants. Since I develop it on Linux, I expect it will build easiest of all there.

source distribution

Pre-Compiled Distributions

I provide pre-compiled distributions for:

Related/Complimentary Links:

Related Links

The following links are for programs that Rlab utilizes, like Boehm's garbage collector, or plotting packages.


I would like to acknowledge the following peoples contributions to RLaB. They are listed in no specific order:


Copyright Information

Contacting the Author

My email address is searleir@yahoo.com. I check my mail at yahoo at least once a week.

About this document ...

Rlab Web Site

This document was generated using the LaTeX2HTML translator Version 99.2beta6 (1.42)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, Nikos Drakos, Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds.
Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, Ross Moore, Mathematics Department, Macquarie University, Sydney.

The command line arguments were:
latex2html -split 0 -no_navigation -no_subdir rlab-web

The translation was initiated by Ian R. Searle on 2000-05-13

Ian R. Searle 2000-05-13