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Re: Octave/Matlab gcc front end?

From: John Eaton
Subject: Re: Octave/Matlab gcc front end?
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 15:51:25 -0500

First, I would like to improve Octave's ability to load externally
compiled functions.  If dld is never going to be ported to more
systems, it would probably be good to use dlopen, or other
system-specific utilities.  I think that would allow dynamic linking
on most systems of interest.  Is there anyone out there who has
experience using these tools who would be willing to contribute code,
or adapt existing solutions from other systems like perl or gnans?

I would also like to make it possible to use Octave to generate C++
code directly.  The idea is that the generated code could be
dynamically linked or used as stand alone programs.  Whether this will
be faster than using Octave directly depends on a lot of things.  For
loops would be a lot faster if the translator can determine that it
can use integers for the iteration variable, but will probably not be
much faster for things like

  a = rand (10,100);
  for i = a
    # do something with each column of a in turn.

because all of the work to extract the columns of the matrix have to
be done anyway.  (Of course, Octave can probably be made to work a bit
faster than it currently does for this case too...)  This project is
likely to involve quite a bit of work.

Also, about translating to various parts of Octave to C, the PROJECTS
file entry says

  * Translate Fortran routines to C/C++, or replace them entirely.

I've never had plans to use f2c for this.  My intent was only to
replace the code if it would make it easier to maintain.  Until that
is possible, I'm happy to stick with the Fortran source.


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