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Chapter 14:
User Interfaces
MATLAB is a high-performance computational language that is ideal for scientists and engineers needing to perform numerical calculations. Its visualization capabilities further extend the usefulness and power of this computational platform. MATLAB has a number of additional capabilities that make it possible to create very user-friendly programs and develop polished user interfaces that enhance the user experience. These capabilities range from interactively entering information through a command line input to fully developing graphical user interfaces (GUIs). Graphical user interfaces provide a very powerful means of streamlining the use of a program and when well written can extend the range of users of the program. For these reasons, GUI usage in scientific and engineering programs has seen significant growth. Writing a good user interface is well beyond the scope of this book; however, an examination of the features and operation of GUIs will give the interested reader a new level of capability. This chapter introduces the basics of setting up different user interfaces for interactive data entry, the basics of using run-time loops, and some of the built-in interfaces available in MATLAB. The development and application of GUIs and the basics of interacting with the graphical components are also illustrated. A practical example will be developed to show the usefulness of GUIs in scientific programming.
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