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Re: octave / matlab

From: John Eaton
Subject: Re: octave / matlab
Date: Mon, 07 Mar 94 17:33:58 CST

Havard Rue <address@hidden> wrote:

: i have installed octave-1.0 and people here ask if octave is an alias
: for `gnu-matlab', so they can run their matlab programs using
: octave. what should i answer?

Octave is compatible with Matlab in many ways, but my intent is to
produce a useful system for doing numerical computations, not to
develop an exact clone of Matlab.  However, since there are lots of
engineers who know Matlab, I decided to use a language that is
reasonably compatible so that new users of Octave would not have to
learn a completely new language.  I am not concerned about copying
each and every Matlab feature, but I want to make it easy for Matlab
users to get started using Octave.

(That said, if you do find incompatibilities, please report them as
bugs to address@hidden anyway as it may be something that
we would like to fix.)

Octave currently has a number of features that Matlab does not.  For
example, Octave can handle DAE's and stiff ODE's with built-in
integrators (DASSL and LSODE).  I also think Octave's command-line
interface is better, because it offers things like command and
variable name completion, and the ability to enter functions directly
on the command line.

Of course there are also lots of things that Matlab can do that have
not yet been done in Octave.  For example, none of the version 4.x
graphics functions are available.  I hope that Octave will eventually
have better plotting capabilities, but I doubt that we will copy the
Matlab 4.x features directly.


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