[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: The future of Octave

From: Andy Adler
Subject: Re: The future of Octave
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 22:15:20 -0500

On Thursday, December 07, 2000 2:30 PM, John W. Eaton wrote:
> I've now worked on Octave for almost nine years.  During most of that
> time, I have enjoyed the challenge of working on a relatively large
> project.

I think the first thing to be said is a big _congratulations_
for John. I've been using octave for four years now, and I've
really come to appreciate the design. I find it far easier
to find my way around in the octave source than in any of the
proprietary projects of similar size I've worked on. In fact,
I used to be very suspicious whether C++ actually provided anything
useful to programmers, other than giving them more rope with
which to hang themselves...  Octave convinced me that C++ can
be a good thing.

>   Because Octave is free software, it will continue to be available.
>   By sometime early next year (perhaps by Octave's ninth birthday,
>   February 20, 2001) I will release a new "stable" version (based on
>   the 2.1.x sources), which I will continue to maintain to the extent
>   of fixing serious bugs.  I don't plan to work on any new features,
>   though I may accept well-written patches that include documentation
>   and ChangeLog entries.
>   Although I plan to continue fixing serious bugs in Octave, if
>   someone (or perhaps a small group) is interested in taking over
>   maintenance of Octave, you should contact me so we can discuss it.

I would very much like to see octave development continue. I believe
that this should be possible. In the last year the user community
seems to be becomming much more active. Perhaps, looking at the most
optimistic scenario, John's stepping down will motivate enough of us
to get active, so that development can even accelerate.

In order to do this, however, much needs to be done:

0. First, how important is keeping octave development alive anyway?
   Do enough people care?

1. The "communitity" needs to come to a clear consensus about
   the goals of future development.

   How important is Matlab compatability?

   There are now various contributions that exist all
   over the net.  How easily should these be added to the
   source base?

   Should octave have additional "non-numeric" features to
   support all sorts of generic scripting language features?

   My opinion is that contributions should be accepted fairly
   easily. This will broaden the developer base, although it 
   will reduce the cleanliness of design.

2. There needs to be a new maintainer/ maintainer group?
   Ideally this can be done in a way that everybody is
   happy with, encouraging contributions and preventing
   the temptation to fork.

3. Where will octave be hosted? Where will FAQs, mailing lists,
   etc. be kept.

   One option would be to move development to sourceforge.

Well, that's my 2c worth. What do others have to say?

Andy Adler                     address@hidden

Octave is freely available under the terms of the GNU GPL.

Octave's home on the web:
How to fund new projects:
Subscription information:

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]