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Re: Problems with QtOctave

From: fork
Subject: Re: Problems with QtOctave
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2010 16:43:15 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Loom/3.14 (

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso <jordigh <at>> writes:

> An alternative is to ditch the CLI interface altogether and to do
> something more like a worksheet interface, like what some CASes do.
> Say, for example, wxMaxima.

I know I already replied to this, but I wanted to mention that sometimes regular
windows and unix users talk at cross purposes about user interfaces without
knowing it.

My preferred system is FreeBSD, and if I am doing data analysis, I will fire up
X Windows, open emacs, two terminals, and a web browser.  In emeacs, I edit
stuff and write functions, in terminal #1 I run octave, and in terminal #2 I run
various unix utilities to process data (curl to snarf from the WWW or ftp, sed
to reprocess text, ls -ltr to see what is up with my filesystem after I generate
a bunch of output, etc).  Occasionally I run gnumeric from terminal #2 to view a
table.  I use addpath() appropriately so that when I save a function I wrote in
emacs, I can automatically access it in Octave.  When I get really fancy, I use
makefiles to organize a data analysis workflow with shebang driven octave
scripts (not possible in the proprietary version).  Since it is unix, all this
stuff works together famously under the idea of "current working directory" ....

.... but in Windows, it is another ball of wax.  Since it isn't designed like an
erector-set where all the pieces fit, one often finds oneself wishing for an
"IDE" where everything DOES fit.

So, I think us Unix types are disinclined to bother with any additions to the UI
since readline and X and everything else fits together to make their own IDE,
and any additions would disrupt the ability to interlock components however we
see fit.  But for a windows environment, it would be really nice to have a way
to grep files AND set up a Makefile AND edit functions etc.

I am not sure this is useful, but I think working on a UI for windows users (me
at work) is worthwhile, but for Unix users (me when I get to choose my OS) is
not so important.  I also think separating the environments mentally is
important when we discuss UI's.

Forcing people to use a complex UI makes it impossible to write non-interactive
scripts and to customize the various components -- this would be very, very bad.

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