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Re: Problems with QtOctave

From: David Grundberg
Subject: Re: Problems with QtOctave
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2010 08:05:18 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20100411)

Jordi GutiƩrrez Hermoso skrev:
> On 1 September 2010 16:06, David Grundberg <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> I have used QtOctave and I admire those trying to develop it but I
>>> encountered many bugs (I have posted here before to explore whether the bugs
>>> lay with QtOctave or Octave). Personally, I would not recommend it at its
>>> current stage of development.
>> I tried it three years ago and made the same conclusion then, I'm sorry
>> to say.  The big problem I had with it was how it was just piping data
>> from/to Octave.
> When QtOctave was first announced and discussed, this problem was
> brought up. The octave_server class in OctaveDE was written as an
> alternative, and I do believe some patches into Octave proper were
> accepted in order to make the octave_server class work (I may be
> misremembering here).
> It's a pity, because Qt is visually nicer than GTK+ on nonfree
> systems, and that visual niceness gives people warm fuzzy feelings
> about Octave. This is mostly why I maintain QtOctave for Debian, even
> if I don't use it myself.
> The QtOctave original developer has expressed that he's very busy
> right now, so if we want to fix it, it's up to us. As far as I can
> tell, QtOctave's own mailing lists[1] are almost dead. I submitted a
> patch for a minor bug maybe a couple of weeks ago to the original
> developer, and was ignored. It's going to go the way of Octave
> Workshop and all the other countless abandoned Octave "GUI"s. It would
> be good if a GUI could work well enough for Octave for it to be
> officially endorsed. The white on black terminal window that users of
> nonfree systems associate with an operating system of the past century
> gives Octave some bad publicity.
> I'm thinking, it might be time to fork? QtOctave isn't bad, and as far
> as the Qt programming is concerned, it's good. It's just the "Octave"
> in QtOctave that needs more work.
> - Jordi G. H.
> [1] and

I think we have to think about the overall strategy here.  We want
people to use Octave in the most efficient way.  I think it's clear that
we don't want to write yet another text editor.  Basically, writing an
IDE for every single language is a rather bad idea, a construct from
history.  And it would require resources we don't have (it seems).

People are asking for something to replace the proprietary user
interface, and maybe we can give them what they want without cloning
that said interface.  Because we had a couple of tries at cloning now,
as you mentioned, and they were very hard to pull off.  Maybe we can
give users what they want, but not what they are asking for?

So one way to reach out would be to write an Eclipse plugin.  That way
we could reach people that want some IDE.  Or Anjuta.  Or KDevelop.

But I think we got to have a terminal emulator and true readline
functionality.  We simply can't have a command line interface without
it.  That's doable on true posix systems, but on Windows it's probably a
lot of work.  octavede runs under cygwin, not "true" win32.  Actually,
just having a glorified/themed terminal emulator on win32, even without
a visual editor/debugger, would probably do much to help.  Maybe we
should ship rxvt in the next Octave For Windows package?


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