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Re: The future of Octave

From: Des Aubery's work area
Subject: Re: The future of Octave
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2000 08:25:57 +0200

Hi John & group,

I feel that it is a pity that you are bowing out of Octave, after all
your work, and visionary leadership.

You are looking for an analysis platform that is distinct from Matlab -
well, why not perhaps just steer Octave to exactly where your vision

If you are tired, and weary, as you obviously are, can I make a bold
suggestion - do not "retire" but instead form a visionary group around
you - similar to Linus, and let them administer, and oversee
implementation of the various sub-sets of the vision implementation.

You could even let a person with more energy to expire take the
day-to-day management & implementation, but remain in a "caretaker" role
- executive consultant, if you will.

Are there any folk out there who will rally around John, and help
shoulder this burden. (My current travel role precludes me from all but
user status, at present...)

Best regards,

Des Aubery...
                         ^^^^^    --->
East London               ^^^^^    --->    Advanced Automotive...
E.Cape, 5257               ^^^^^    --->    Heat-Transfer
South Africa                ^^^^^    --->    CFD
email: address@hidden    ^^^^^    --->    FEA
______________________________^^^^^    --->

"John W. Eaton" wrote:
> On  7-Dec-2000, Andy Adler <address@hidden> wrote:
> | 1. The "communitity" needs to come to a clear consensus about
> |    the goals of future development.
> |
> |    How important is Matlab compatability?
> FWIW, I don't think that complete compatibility is a reasonable
> goal, primarily because if you aim for that, then as soon as a new
> version of Matlab is released, you are immediately years behind.
> Many people seem to believe that Octave only follows wherever Matlab
> leads.  Over the years, however, Octave has included a number of
> features missing from the then current version of Matlab only to find
> that later editions of Matlab implemented those features in
> incompatible ways.  These kinds of incompatibilities are especially
> bad, because fixing them means breaking compatibility with older
> versions of Octave, or assuming the burden of supporting multiple ways
> of doing the same thing.
> So, if you really truly want a 100% compatible Matlab clone, then
> maybe you should either just buy Matlab, or rip out any and all
> features from Octave that Matlab does not have, and only try to
> reimplement whatever it is that the MathWorks designs.  That sort of
> project would not be at all interesting to me.
> |    My opinion is that contributions should be accepted fairly
> |    easily. This will broaden the developer base, although it
> |    will reduce the cleanliness of design.
> In most cases, I have been quite conservative about incorporating
> patches from others.  I'm sure that this has frustrated some
> contributers, but, in my experience, there aren't very many people out
> there who have been willing to fix Octave when it breaks, or even
> maintain their patches once they have been submitted, and I have not
> been comfortable with having to maintain code that I could not work
> with easily.
> | 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.
> I'm not too worried about forking.  Octave is a relatively large
> project.  I'd guess that you have to be fairly serious about working
> on it, or your fork will quickly die.  But I agree that given the
> limited resources, you would want to avoid spreading them even
> thinner by having multiple development groups.
> | 3. Where will octave be hosted? Where will FAQs, mailing lists,
> |    etc. be kept.
> For now, it will remain where it is.  I am happy to continue hosting
> the mailing lists and so on until someone emerges who is really
> serious about taking over maintenance of the project.
> |    One option would be to move development to sourceforge.
> If they are eventually moved, I'd suggest the GNU machines.  They have
> a nice mailing list management system set up on, and a
> CVS server on  They can probably also host the
> web pages at
> jwe
> -------------------------------------------------------------
> Octave is freely available under the terms of the GNU GPL.
> Octave's home on the web:
> How to fund new projects:
> Subscription information:
> -------------------------------------------------------------

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

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