One big advantage over FreeFem is that it uses plain old Python to describe the problems instead of a domain-specific language. Matplotlib is used for plotting by default, so we get full Python power out of the box!
One downside is that its documentation is a Springer published PDF which is several years out-of-date (tested with FEnics 2016.2. Newbs. This causes problems e.g.:
system of partial differential equations are mentioned at: 3.5 "A system of advection–diffusion–reaction equations". You don't need to manually iterate between the equations.
On Ubuntu 20.04 as per
sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fenics-packages/fenics
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends fenics
sudo apt install fenics
python3 -m pip install -u matplotlib
Before 2020-06, it was failing with:
E: The repository ' focal Release' does not have a Release file.
but they seem to have created the Ubuntu 20.04 package as of 2020-06, so it now worked!
TODO heat equation hello world.
It should be mentioned that when you start Googling for PDE stuff, you will reach Han's writings a lot under his GitHub Pages:, and he is one of the main authors of the FEniCS Project.
Unfortunately he died of cancer in 2016, shame, he seemed like a good educator.
He also published to GitHub pages with his own crazy markdown-like multi-output markup language:
Rest in peace, Hans.

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