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Re: some thoughts about the future of Octave

From: SZABO Sandor
Subject: Re: some thoughts about the future of Octave
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 19:37:25 +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.


>  The close compatibility is a major advantage that led
> us to choose Octave.


> 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.


> there are still
> missing features that are quite annoying :


>         -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.


> 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:
> Subscription information:
> -------------------------------------------------------------

I agree with you.
- an up-to-date documentation is the first thing TODO.
  Before any new development. It is very boring to browse the help or usage in 
- GUI. I'm not an expert but found the Gmath. About it:
  A gnome mathematical GUI designed to be a central tool where you can launch 

               other existing mathematical tools. It now supports Numerical 
Session, and
               more soon.

 ...    For now, GmatH is nothing more than a nice interface to all those tools.
...started adding data visualization
     tools. These are very early (alpha) tools. GmatH supports only 2D function

- Matlab compatibility.
  Maple is Mathematica compatible?
  I think we have to go on our own way. To write a converter is an other task.
Best regards.
           Sandor Szabo

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