I came across this great little article in setting up a scientific programming environment on OS X written by Dr. Eric P. Salathé Jr., a researcher in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. There are a number of sites with simple "essential application" lists for OS X, but this page is focused specifically on scientific programming, and instead of presenting a mundane list of applications, Dr. Salathé goes into detail on why each application should be installed and the scenarios in which they are used. I also like the fact that he's included several gems from the open-sources world that some Mac users may be unaware of. Although Dr. Salathé personal interests lie in the Atmospheric Sciences domain, he lays out a capable scientific programming environment that is suitable for any number of scientific disciplines. Topics covered in the page include:
- Installing fortran and C compilers
- Dealing with binary data
- Installing Optimized math libraries
You can view the complete article on Dr. Salathé's Website
Dr. Salathé's site looks incredibly useful. Dealing with Fortran on OS X is a battle. While I don't use Fortran for my own work, it is a dependency of R. I have a custom built R and Rpy installation for development of the Chartshare project. Every time I upgrade either component, there is at least a couple hours involved in fighting with GNU Fortran.