File Exchange Pick of the Week

Our best user submissions

Deprecating support for edfread and edfreadUntilDone

It feels like forever ago (it was back in 2009) that I wrote and posted to the File Exchange the edfread function. At the time, I was a mere four years into my stint as a MathWorks application engineer, and I was making a lot of presentations showing users and potential users how to solve problems with the MathWorks suite of tools. In that capacity, I frequently demonstrated full data workflows with our tools, from data acquisition through application generation and report publication. We have great tools for importing data (including the impressive Import Tool), and I often made the point that difficulty getting data into MATLAB should never be the factor that determines whether or not MathWorks tools were right for a particular job or problem.

I don't recall which customer first challenged me with "What about reading EDF data? The Import Tool can't read it!" I had never heard of the EDF format, but a quick search led me to a specification document, and I set about writing edfread (in MATLAB, of course!) to facilitate reading European Data Formatted files.

Fast forward 11 years since edfread has been on the File Exchange. In that time, it has become one of my most frequently downloaded submissions. In that time, I submitted edfreadUntilDone to accommodate files that exceeded the capacity of the original reader, Sean featured the file as a Pick of the Week a couple years ago, and I have spent countless hours trying to support the function. (My apologies if I wasn't able to get to all support requests!).

Today, I am very pleased to announce that support for reading EDF files has been incorporated into the Signal Processing Toolbox! As of the R2020b release (which is in prerelease as of this writing--ready for your evaluation), you will have access to a documented, officially supported EDF file reader!

(Note that the function still doesn't support the "Eyelink Data Format".)

Thanks so much to our wonderful developers who made this happen! I will keep my functions on the File Exchange for the short term, at least, but I am deprecating support for my functions, and will steer users instead to the Signal Processing Toolbox reader. Once everyone has had an opportunity to make the switch to the officially supported version, we will reassess the status of the File Exchange versions and decide their fate in the longer term.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Published with MATLAB® R2020a

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