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About the future of Octave

From: Luis Alejandro Marquez Martinez
Subject: About the future of Octave
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2000 14:06:12 +0200

Here is my opinion with respect to several issues:

It is extremely important, as it saves time to users and mantainers.

In this subject I would like to point out that looking for information
in the archives is rather difficult,  and I don't think anyone will do
(at least not in  previous's years archives) unless they have the
exact reference.

So,  a search engine for this archives would save a lot of questions.

Recently, I proposed to jwe the use of Faq-o-matic, which is
an automated tool for generating faq, which includes a search
engine.    jwe has expressed his concern of having an automate
receiving random comments, without a real editor.  To this end,
this tool can be configurated in several ways, one of them is
"only some people (the administrators) can post,  everybody
can read".

So, I propose the following:  to install faq-o-matic in octave's
server, and find people to administrate different categories.  To
this end,  I would  like to volunteer for taking this task*.
In fact, what I would do is to identify the questions,  put the answer
according to what is in the archives, if I think I can do it safely,
but I certainly will need to bother some of you to help me wrinting
some answers,  since I am not expert in everything.

*: that is something that I would like to read more often ;-)

The host.
People is talking about moving octave to SourceForge.  I do not
understand why do not keep,  even if the host
changes, that's what URL's are for.   Maybe something that I

According to what I have read, it seems to me that the best is
try to keep the commands and syntax as close as possible to
matlab, so it won't take a great effort for matlab users to
migrate to Octave but definitively not to try to have 100%
compatibility.     I agree that creativity is destroyed when
you are a follower.   Another thing that nobody has mentioned:
you can build programs to perform the same tasks as other
programs (in fact, it is essential to avoid monopoly) but
programmers who make a software whose commands accept
identical inputs and yield identical outputs than another software,
can be sued by infraction to the copyrights of the owners of the latter.

I think that if you know of projects that could be suitable for
extending/complementing octave you should send a list, so
we can build a list with the inputs of all users (in a section of
the FAQ, for example).  Some issues are
 - GUI
 - Simulink-like enviroment
 - Symbolic capabilities
 - Plotting
 - Distributed computation
 - Toolboxes /  script conversion
 - Native graphics engine
 - Portable GUI toolboxes
but of course you can propose others.  Also, some of them have
already been discussed.

I respect the decision of jwe to reduce his efforts on this project,
and maybe (time will say it) it will be the best for him and for
Octave to take a step back, rest for a little while and look for
new goals.    I think that he's on his right to decide to move
somewhere else,  but it would be great if he decides to stick
to octave as project leader, as several people have proposed,
"a la Linus".

A. Marquez

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