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Re: The future of Octave

From: robert . butora
Subject: Re: The future of Octave
Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2000 16:07:38 +0200 (EET)

The discussion is mainly around 2 features,

1, Matlab compatibility
2, GUI

with the limited resources.

Just a comment on the issue of sw-quality:

There is a lot of sw already on the net (and unfortunatelly
also in the shops for your money) which promises the Paradise itself
and then you have to reboot your machine x-times until you get your
job done.

To write GUI is very difficult (try to write down only a 
clear set of requirements ...) + it brings with it
all those external graphical libraries which you did not
design, i.e. you have no control on their quality 
(their bugs, and constantly changing version numbers). 
All of this into doing numerical mathematics.
I'm afraid there is a lot of positive enthusiasm on the begining
and some (or a lot of) effort spent and then ... see my previous

I'd like to see Octave continued as a software 
which does primarly mathematics. I need NUMBERS 
and I'd like to be sure that they are _correct_.

I prefer a software which does less but that without bugs. 
Making GUI is much effort and also I'm afraid, compatibility 
would mess up internals of Octave. So you end up doing 
constantly trade offs when trying to implement a new 
feature; an effort which could be spent rather on 
testing a new num. library or improving its efficiency etc...  

Please, be modest and rather conservative and keep Octave
doing first of all mathematics correctly and efficiently.

Robert Butora
Helsinki University of Technology 
Laboratory of Space Technology
e-mail: address@hidden

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