Science the GNU Way, Part I
In my past several articles, I've looked at various packages to do all kinds of science. Sometimes, however, there just isn't a tool to solve a particular problem. That's the great thing about science. There is always something new to discover and study. But, this means it's up to you to develop the software tools you need to do your analysis. This article takes a look at the GNU Scientific Library, or GSL. This library is the Swiss Army library of routines that you will find useful in your work.
First, you need to to get a copy of GSL and install it on your system. Because it is part of the GNU Project, it is hosted at http://www.gnu.org/s/gsl. You always can download and build from the source code, but all major distributions should have packages available. For example, on Debian-based systems, you need to install the package libgsl0-dev to develop your code and gsl-bin to run that code. GSL is meant for C and C++, so you also need a compiler. Most of you probably already are familiar with GCC, so I stick with that here.