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Re: The future of Octave

From: Herman Bruyninckx
Subject: Re: The future of Octave
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 2000 09:00:09 +0100 (CET)

On Thu, 7 Dec 2000, Kevin Straight wrote:

First of all: Thanks John! (For all you did, and all you will be doing
in the future :-) )

> jwe's point is well taken.  Octave is a very solid and useful application,
> but it is impossible to escape the fact that it is based on yesterday's
> technology, not today's.  It does what it does very well, but it is
> inherently limited by design considerations.  Working on my degree in
> applied math over the last three years I have become increasingly
> convinced that we are long overdue for the next evolution in
> mathematical software.  I think we-the open source community-should be the
> ones to come up with it, and let the commercial teams scramble for
> bug-for-bug compatibility with US.
I agree with this!

> 1) Flexibility.  If you're like me, you own at least one each of the
> following:  numeric software (ie octave), statistical software (minitab or
> whatever), CAS/symbolic software (maple, derive, etc), technical document
> prep software (ie latex), and spreadsheet.  If you're in engineering you
> also probably have CAD and flowcharting software.  All of these duplicate
> features found in some or all of the others.  NONE of them interoperate
> worth beans.  They all use different interfaces and commands to accomplish
> the same thing.
Indeed. But I guess the way to go is to use some kind of CORBA-like
brokerage that can link a high-quality GPL plotting program (there are
some in the making, I think), a high-quality documentation tool (LaTeX
or MathML based), of course the high-level numerical tool which is
Octave, a high-level diagram interfacing tool (such as DIA, which
would allow to make a `simulink'-like graphical interface to Octave), etc.
A first practical step could be to (i) list which existing projects
would be useful for octave, and (ii) contact the maintainers of these
projects with concrete suggestions.

Personally, I am trying to set up an Open Source robot control project
(, still in too preliminary state :-( ), and I had octave
in mind as the numerical core, and some other projects as other
`cores' (like dia etc). So, I would be willing to brainstorm about
these things the coming weeks.

address@hidden (Ph.D.)    Fax: +32-(0)16-32 29 87
Dept. Mechanical Eng., Div. PMA, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
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