TL;DR tips for Julia users coming from Matlab

This is amazing! I’m going to present to my lab in a couple weeks and this will be a great resource for everyone else.

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Interesting, the reason for this is https://github.com/JuliaLang/julia/issues/15276 and you can show it more succinctly with:

 function not_type_stable(a)
    a = a # toggle comment on this line
    return (x->x+a)(1)
end

So while I guess it is true that in some cases, assignments to a variable can cause performance problems, the reason isn’t really that a has one type and then you assign it to another type.

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This is one of those habits that many appear to be blind towards. New users are so often initializing arrays as

zeros(n, 1)
rand(n, 1)
# etc.

when they almost always should use

zeros(n)
rand(n)
# etc.

They’re not even going to think about it unless it’s pointed out directly. It’s a semi-subconscious assumption about how vectors work.

Similarly, use rand() instead of rand(1) or rand(1)[1].

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I hate to be pedantic*, but

julia> struct Foo
           x::Vector
       end

julia> Base.length(f::Foo) = length(f.x)

julia> Base.push!(f::Foo, a) = push!(f.x, a)

julia> foo=Foo([])
Foo(Any[])

julia> length(foo)
0

julia> push!(foo,1)
1-element Array{Any,1}:
 1

julia> length(foo)
1

*That’s not true. I really enjoy bring pedantic :crazy_face:. You’re off course correct.

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Totally correct! Here’s another example of the same:

julia> struct Bar end

julia> Base.length(::Bar) = rand(0:1000)

julia> b = Bar()
Bar()

julia> length(b)
338

julia> length(b)
129

:wink:

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linspace(a,b,n) = range(a; stop=b, length=n)   
logspace(a,b,n) = 10 .^ range(a; stop=b, length=n)
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When I first transitioned from matlab to Julia, I set up atom snippets for some common functionality like this.
That way I could type the old matlab stuff but get the new Julia stuff without any additional function definitions. Here are some

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I love to be pedantic :wink: I am wondering if we should keep using the term “immutable” for these kinds of constructs in discussions. An "(immutable) struct" is a clearly defined concept in Julia, but Foo above may not mesh well with what various people understand as “immutable”.

Mutability (or lack thereof) in Julia is a very narrowly defined technical term that is meaningful mostly for composite types.

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Same here. An otherwise pleasant Julia experience can be brought to a longer halt if help is not accessible.

Also had this tldr-pages or this navi idea (in previous posts I called for one-liners or snippets).

We often ask posters to provide a minimum working example.
I wondered if we could expect the same from someone answering a question, or contributes to Julia?
Sounds ungrateful? Since it’s all free and based on voluntary work.
You are all doing a great job - thanks!
My only argument is that a help that is not understood is a lost effort.

Maybe you developers and helpers can go a bit further, think of the not-so-progressed, and add some TL;DR examples.