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Re: some thoughts about the future of Octave

From: Paul Kienzle
Subject: Re: some thoughts about the future of Octave
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 17:04:44 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

For better splines, try:

And send thanks to Kai Habel.

I posted a "how to write .oct files" message a while back.  This needs to
be updated with jwe comments, and to include a description of how to handle
Octave structure values (which has been posted 2 or 3 times before).

Surely writing an fmins wrapper around the various optimization functions
that others have submitted would not be too difficult.  I've even gathered
a bunch of them at:
As for programming m-files, I think you would be best off finding an
old matlab tutorial.  The syntax of 4.2 is close enough not to cause
too many problems.  This should be enough to get you started.  Once you
get something that sort of works, you can submit it to octave-sources
so others have a base to work from.

On Wed, Dec 13, 2000 at 02:24:21PM +0100, address@hidden wrote:
> Hi All,
> I work both as a researcher and a teacher and I am an everyday user...
> but I am not a power user.
> First, thanx to jwe for bringing up this marvelous tool that is called
> "Octave". We are currently using it in replacement of Matlab for
> teaching in our college of Engineering. It has 2 advantages:
>       -we will be able to get rid of our problematic NT server that
>          crashes so often for unknown reasons
>         -it costs much less (linux+octave / NT+Matlab in a client
>          /server environment).
>         -it is cross-platform : UX + Win
>         -it allows us to give a copy of octave for free to the students
>          for their future work (Matlab would be so expensive)
> This can work mainly because Octave is close to be compatible with
> Matlab... the "de-facto" standard.
> We, here, enjoy the possibility to easily port the m and cmex files from
> Matlab to Octave. The close compatibility is a major advantage that led
> us to choose Octave. The fact we can compile it, taking advantage of 2
> processors for example is a nice thing.
> I must precise that I have been working with another similar software
> called Scilab (freeware available on Win, UX and Mac)... I even made the
> port from UX to MacOS. I spent many hours to accomplish that for finally
> little interest. Scilab has many powerful toolboxes that can compete
> with Matlab but it isn't very compatible with it. Major problem is that
> you have to do
> getf("myfile.sci")
> comp(myroutine)
> myroutine
> instead of
> myroutine
> If I wouldn't be so interested in Matlab compatibility I would have kept
> scilab, sincerely.
> I have heard of other very interesting Matlab-like environnements like
> RLab, R, Yorick...
> As far as I know, Scilab is the only one that propose a matlab2scilab
> converter (written in Scilab language). Why Octave wouldn't offer the
> same ?
> Clearly, I understand jwe but I confirm our interest (both for research
> and education) in Octave being as close as possible to Matlab. Octave is
> already quite compatible with Matlab 4.2 except that there are still
> missing features that are quite annoying :
>       -spline (pkienzle's package doesn't solve this)
>       -fmins (there are downsimplex and levenberg etc... but nothing as 
> generic)
>       -plot (they don't look very nice, more like a raw output)
>       -multiplot (same + problems to print them)
>       -documentation is still very poor
>       -no easy doc to help understand how to make octfiles
> I have take a look at vtk and it looks so great ! Actually I am using
> epstk which is very nice even if it can't do everything we can ask.
> the command line interface is quite enough for us and we don't care for
> any other interface. We would rather prefer to see more work on the
> plotting library and the documentation.
> I personnally think that a short documention explaning very precisely
> (with examples, like a canvas) how to create standardized re-usable
> mfiles to contribute to the community would be very important. For
> instance, I did a library allowing to use rs-232 communications and I am
> just wondering how to make it standard (help, parameters, manual) to
> offer it as a contribution. I am afraid that if I release it as it, it
> won't be understandable by others.
> I feel that there is a gap between some of us who are very into Octave
> (Kienzle, Grossman...) and people like me who are not mastering Octave
> so well but are able to give contributions as well, provided that we are
> given more help (documentation mainly).
> If I would give priorities in the TODO List it would be:
>       1- write a canvas and a manual for adding new mfiles
>       2- add a fmins function
>       3- improve the website and documentation
>       4- start a project for an automatic convertir Matlab2Octave
>       5- change gnuplot for something else
> I think these "users comments" can contribute to the debate and assure
> again all of the OCtave developpers our sincere congratulations for
> their wonderful work.
> -- 
> Francis
>  =========================================================================
>  Dr. Francis COURTOIS               I  ENSIA - INRA
>                                     I  1, avenue des Olympiades
>  Food Process Control Lab.          I  91744 MASSY Cedex
>  Food Engineering Department        I  FRANCE
>  -----------------------------------I  Tel : (+33) (0) 1 69 93 51 29
>  mailto:address@hidden      I  Fax : (+33) (0) 1 69 93 51 85
>Šþcourtois     I  Cell: (+33) (0) 6 84 13 73 92
> ==========================================================================
> -------------------------------------------------------------
> Octave is freely available under the terms of the GNU GPL.
> Octave's home on the web:
> How to fund new projects:
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