- There are different conventions. Conventions in mathematics, logic, and applied sciences and conventions in IT. The first ones are far older.
- The scientific languages are made to make the life of THEIR users more convenient. The user is seen as a scientist, who can realize some algorithm from time to time or to check some theory, without the need to learn something really new. So, the languages for scientists MUST be made up to non - IT standards. Because they are not meant for the use of IT people. They are up to OTHER standards and that is good because of the target auditory. Because the good SW UI, and language is SW UI, must be done based on needs of user, not of the coder.
- Our IT standards are industry standards. IT is industry. Science is not industry. Scientists are proud of it. And they would reluctantly take anything from our practice into theirs. And they don't like standards at all. And nobody likes foreign standards. So, if somebody will make a scientific language that will look up to IT standards, it would be hardly selling well, because of the dislike of the target auditory, even if it were objectively more convenient.
And even if we'll judge only according to IT standards... Sorry, what standards do you mean? Have you tried to write a prog in APL or SNOBOL? These two language are, IMHO, the MOST powerful in appropriate fields (counting and strings). But the syntax is something VERY strange (and effective) Reading a line of APL code could take days. On the other hand, such line is a serious piece of SW. You'd return to Mathlab with tears of relief.
As for "=", many people have problems to be accustomed that it is not equality, but assignment. BTW, in Pascal it IS equality and assignment is ":=".
And you really think that == for equality is more natural? On the contrary, mixing = and == is the MOST common error in C programming, it happens very often even in contemporary IDEs, with their automatic control.
About indexing from 1 - it is the only natural one. When you were a child, you had learned poems and songs, where you counted: one, two, three... And not 0,1,2... In school math we studied that the counting starts from 1, and that 0 doesn't belong to natural/counting numbers. Only with the definition of functions non-natural indices come. After all, the 0 was invented many thousands of years after our ancestor raised a finger up.
0-start was more simple to realize and immediately got into IT practice after C appearance. But in Fortran, the first language, the 1-indexing is used. The same with other languages of the pre-industrial epoch.
And yes, I had read Dyjkstra's article on naturality of the 0-based counting. And totally disagree with his argumentation. It is natural for musicians ony. And even 0 enthusiasts that create the C and Java compilers, count the lines of the code STARTING FROM 1!