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Re: Octave and Matlab (was: Wikibook on octave)

From: antonio palestrini
Subject: Re: Octave and Matlab (was: Wikibook on octave)
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2007 03:33:06 +0100

I agree with John.The idea itself of a clone is the most important source of
bugs (in a sense) when guys start using octave for the first time.
I'm an economist and (like many of us) I like to learn new programming
stuff and
functions using very simple examples (instead of analyzing deeply the
syntax). This natural way of learning was a source of problems
switching to octave since the help of many functions do not have
simple examples illustrating what the function is and what it can do
for you. This is the real problem (I think) .. since functions have
the same matlab name I tried to reproduce the MATLAB EXAMPLES and this
produced often errors since the two software are not identical
(personally I think octave is better in many respects). Things went
better when I realize octave is a different software with its syntax
that (like scilab) is SIMILAR to matlab.
Let me stress the "help problem" a little more. Do not misunderstand
me, I like the wikibook project but octave has very good documents
on-line (starting from its manual). However, when a student approachs
the program and type for example "help while" the output is

*** while:

Begin a while loop.

The student would be more productive (I think) with an help like the following

*** while:
Begin a while loop.

for example (from the octave manual):
fib = ones (1, 10);
i = 3;
while (i <= 10)
 fib (i) = fib (i-1) + fib (i-2);

that do not force him to go to internet for every problem or, even
worse, to use the matlab examples that many times work (like in this
case) but sometime do not, as all of you know.


2007/2/1, John W. Eaton <address@hidden>:
On 31-Jan-2007, Jordi Gutierrez Hermoso wrote:

| On 30/01/07, John W. Eaton <address@hidden> wrote:
| > But I would still prefer it if people did not call Octave a Matlab "clone".
| So how would you prefer the relationship between Octave and the
| competition to be stated? The idea that Octave is a Matlab clone is
| very widespread; indeed, almost everyone I know who uses Octave
| (including myself at first) uses it in order to replace Matlab.

It is fine (and good, I think) to use Octave as a replacement for
Matlab.  That is a separate issue from whether you refer to it as a
"clone" (genetically identical, intended to be exactly the same, etc.).

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Prof. Antonio Palestrini
DSGSS - University of Teramo, Italy
e-mail: address@hidden

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