New releases of MATLAB and Simulink

09 October 2012

Mathworks has given both MATLAB and Simulink makeovers to make both programs easier to use and navigate in its latest release 2012b.

Both programs gain toolstrips that allow customisation and most used features to be easily accessed. The improvements have been made due to expanding capabilities of the programs, and also by users requesting features that were already available. An apps gallery has also been introduced to allow users to easily download new functions and capabilities developed by other users. There is also a redesigned help system with improved browsing, searching, filtering, and content organisation.

Simulink will get a totally new user interface. It looks quite obvious that many of the changes are influenced by best in class computer programs. This can be seen straight away with the new tabbed functions, which are reminiscent of the ones in Microsoft Office. The tabs are designed to keep similar functions together and be more accessible than hunting through toolbars and menus.

Not all the changes are cosmetic in the 2012b release. For instance signal routing has been made more intelligent to determine optimal signal line path and debugging capabilities can rewind simulations and set conditional breakpoints on signals. New capabilities in Stateflow also simplify modeling.
R2012b also introduces Simulink Projects for managing project files and connecting to source control software, and support for running models on target hardware such as Arduino, LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT, BeagleBoard, and PandaBoard. A new student version of Simulink will offer this feature with limited capabilities.

The MATLAB Desktop has also had a makeover with the new toolbar showing the most popular features. Additional new features help users package MATLAB apps for inclusion in the gallery, import data from delimited and fixed-width text files, and correct mistyped functions and variables in the Command Window.

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