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GUI for Octave programs.

From: Przemek Klosowski
Subject: GUI for Octave programs.
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 12:12:12 -0400

As I mentioned on this list a month or so ago, we (John Cowgill and
myself) have been working on importing the Tcl/Tk GUI environment into
Octave. We prefer that to building native GUI capabilities, because,
we can leverage the existing Tcl extensions, such as

        - BLT for 2-D line graphics
        - Tk photo widget for 2-D image graphics
        - tkTable for spreadsheet-like data editing
        - VTK for 3-D graphics

I am happy to report that we are getting some rather nice results. We
have started from the TkOctave by Joao Cardoso; we have reimplemented
it so that it runs the octave interpreter and the Tk interpreter as
two threads of the same process. The advantage of this approach is
that we don't need to go through disk or pipes to pass data and commands
back and forth; this results in very nice interactive speeds, indeed.

We have a very preliminary web page with some snapshots of our work,
currently at

(warning---the page has some embedded images of under 300 kB size;
we'll do a modem-friendly version eventually, but for now you may have
to wait to see them).

The image display widget allows zooming into the image, and cursor
tracking with live updates of the X/Y cut plots, at interactive speeds
(our test array is 400x400 elements).

The only custom part in this widget is the code to grab an octave
array and pass it to Tcl. Everything else was done entirely in Tcl,
using the existing BLT widget for displaying the axis, X/Y graphs
and colormap index.

BTW, Tk/Octave mechanism can be seen both as a GUI for octave programs
(i.e. a way to create a GUI from within octave code), as well as
a GUI for octave itself (by creating an appropriate text input
and result display widgets in, say, .octaverc).

We need help and collaborators, both on design as well as implementation.
If you're interested, please get in touch with us.

                przemek klosowski <address@hidden>  (301) 975-6249
                John Cowgill <address@hidden>

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