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Re: Installation of Octave on Windows

From: Agustin Barto
Subject: Re: Installation of Octave on Windows
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 09:14:36 -0300
User-agent: Thunderbird 1.5 (X11/20051201)

Robert A. Macy wrote:
It is my understanding that making such a binary is not a
trivial act.
No really. Several "decades" ago I contributed a little to the Octave for Windows effort, and after collecting all the bits and pieces of information, Octave was could be compiled and packed without much effort. But as cygwin and Octave evolved, some bugs started to appear that started to make the task much more complicated. To complicate things I *really* needed octave-forge to be packed together with Octave (the package was supposed to ease the transition from Matlab to engineering students). The last time I tried to put all the things together, I failed time after time. I followed several threads on this list regarding a stand-alone Octave for Windows, and the answer was always the same: Why bother if you can install cygwin and then install the Octave package?

I got the message. It was obvious that supporting Windows wasn't an Octave (nor octave-forge) priority. Although I rarely use Windows, I couldn't (and I shouldn't) force the students to use Linux. Given that, we decided to bite the bullet and switch to SciLab. Although this required to translate a lot of code and documentation, we never again had to worry about the users' particular platform. The smartest decision we made in years (second only to the idea to switch to Free Software).

Octave is a tool for my work and it took a lot of time to
discover all the quirks and "work arounds" of what I now
have, so unless upgrading is as smooth as the 2.1.50a
binary, I can't really afford to interrupt my work for the
sake of having the most "up to date" tool, just because
it's the most up to date tool.  There has to be real value
added for me to want to abandon what is working so well.  I
do know that octave now has multiple indexed arrays, which
could prove very useful.  But quite frankly, I haven't
mastered the two index form yet.  Still have too many
Same here. Octave is a tool, that depends on other tools like Windows. If they don't work well together, there's really no tool at all. You either switch to other OS, or switch to other tool like Octave. There's no free lunch here. Everything requires work and an adaptation period.
And finally, I run octave on Windows 98SE and that god
awful Windows XP.  I really appreciate the way 2.1.50a is
simple, easy to install, remove, reinstall.  It doesn't
take a lot of resources and doesn't insinuate itself
throughout my OS. Octave is just there, and works.
Let's hope it still works with Windows Vista.
But soon as our firm migrates to Linux based, and
everything changes anyway, I'll probably go for the updated
Probably you should start early by migrating to Linux yourself and getting an idea on how much work is needed to translate your code.


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