I wanted to report the very slow and somewhat frustrating experience of a beginner trying to install and use JuliaPro. I apologize if this is not the proper forum category.
Note: I come from a Matlab background, which may explain some errors I am making and some expectations I have. I am considering to use Julia for my own data analysis but also for teaching to non-programmers (who are assumed to have no patience). JuliaPro was interesting for me because it purportedly offers a nice “out of the box” experience. I am using a recent laptop with plenty of RAM and a 1 TB SSD, so I don’t think the hardware can be blamed.
Installing JuliaPro took 16 min. I had downloaded the full package before so I found that quite long. After that almost everything was very slow, to a point I would qualify as non-responsive. I tried to follow the JuliaPro quick start guide, and I am giving details on what I did and the time it took below.
I am posting this for 3 reasons:
- getting some advice in case I am doing something wrong, or in case better options to use Julia exist
- provide some feedback to the JuliaPro developers (couldn’t find a category for that)
- getting specific feedback from other Matlab users and/or teachers: how quickly do these frustrations (if you felt them!) go away?
So here are some details about the unresponsiveness:
After installation was completed, I launched Juno and tried to follow the JuliaPro quick start guide.
Interestingly, once in the Juno window, I am in fact in a program called Atom, not Juno. I can already see the students emails…
The first bits of code detailed in the quick start guide (not in screenshots) are about making a plot with Gadfly. So I type
using Gadflyin the console, and… nothing happens for 1 minute. then I start getting INFO messages (precompiling), and the command completes in 1 min 30.
I then type
Gadfly.plot(sin,0,25). After 30 seconds, the plot appears.
I later realized that typing the same command again produces the plot much faster, but I didn’t know that. So I search the web, and see something somewhere that Gadfly is slow and Plots is faster.
But Plots is not installed by default. So I type
Pkg.add("Plots"). Nothing happens for 40 seconds, then I start getting some INFO messages, and the install completes after 2 min 10s.
But the last INFO message says the package is out-of-date (didn’t I just install it?). As instructed, I type
Pkg.update(). Another 2 minutes waiting.
I can finally type
using Plots, which takes 25 seconds (it actually seems quite fast, I am getting used to my computer not responding… the JuliaPro effect?)
I get warnings that there may be conflicts. I guess it comes from Gadfly, a quick internet search tells me there is no way to “unuse” a package, but
workflow()does roughly what “clear” would do in Matlab, so I try that. But I after that I get into a seemingly endless series of errors and warnings when trying to redo “using Plots”, so I end up restarting Juno (or more exactly Atom).
using Plots, creating
y=sin.(x), I can finally plot them.
plot(x,y)takes about 20 seconds. Subsequent plot commands are much faster, fortunately.
All in all, not a very successful/pleasing first attempt. So I am looking forward to your advice!