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Re: speeding up Octave development (was: Re: m-code)

From: heberf
Subject: Re: speeding up Octave development (was: Re: m-code)
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 15:06:36 -0600 (CST)

Several good points are being brought up here.  The example of R is 
interesting.  The main thing to notice is that Octave has several parts:

        1. Octave interpretter
        2. Functions (statistical, signal processing, ODE solvers, etc)
So far most work in both areas has been done by JWE (with several notable 
exeptions like the work of Kurt Hornik and others).  Octave is approaching the 
point where that is no longer feasible.  I recommend that we select people to 
head up groups of function classes.  Please note that these people will not 
to be "hackers", just people who are competent in that field. By the way I 
these people ought to be in charge of the info pages for their toolbox as well 
(thus addressing Thomas Hoffmann's question).  We should probably think about 
several mailing lists or bug lists as well.  John has to answer some questions 
that he really shouldn't have to bother with.

John's point about the need for hackers and the fact that we are unlikely to 
attract such people to help develop the code is probably correct but I think it 
applies to 1 rather than 2.  My C++ is pretty poor but I could tell an m-file 
.oct file that does time series statistics well from one that does it poorly.  
Similarly for those of you in other fields.  So let's not put all the Octave 
sources in a CVS tree.  Just the functions (and documentation?).

As far as the interpretter goes it will still probably be mostly JWE so we need 
to listen to what he says about funding.  The interpretter is the heart of it 
after all.

Here is a question for JWE.  Many of us have some amout of control over how 
research money is spent in our department or company.   But before we can write 
a check we need something to tell the account payable people.  How do you 
recommend we do that?  Could we call it support or consulting or something?  My 
university is good about giving me research money but I need a purchase order 
something like that.  I recall reading that the guys working on GNOME get money 
by supporting gnumeric or other things.  If you had a bill you could send me 
support I could send $X your way.

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