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Re: Coupling of Octave with Open Office

From: Horst Salzwedel
Subject: Re: Coupling of Octave with Open Office
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2009 10:42:13 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20081209)

All the developed code is free software and will be released.

This work can only be done if other interested people around the world get involved. Thanks for offering to support this project. Your experience both with Octave and with UNO will certainly be very helpful.

This integration has to be made compatible with upcoming versions of Octave and OO. Your suggestion on making it compatible with Octave 3.2.x helps us on compatibility with Octave.

We are currently discussing a workshop with the OO development team in Hamburg, Germany. For us to better understand the future development of OO and for the OO development team to understand our work and discuss with us the future of such an OO/Octave for teaching, research and development and set goals and requirements.

We want to first have this meeting OO, combine them with feedback from you Octave-Maintainers, in order to set some direction for development of the integration before releasing the code.

Tino is defending his thesis in 2 weeks. The meeting with OO will be some time after that.


Jaroslav Hajek wrote:
On Sun, Mar 8, 2009 at 12:11 PM, Horst Salzwedel
<address@hidden> wrote:
the main software which children in school, students at universities and
engineers are using is Office. In office they are using the spreadsheet to
do calculations for their work.

Spreadsheets are data view programs that hide the model/algorithm and are
ill suited to support our model based thinking, research and engineering.

Octave is a great SW system that is easy to use and mathematical models and
algorithms are easy to implement. However, only relatively few have it on
their computers.

We are trying to make model based an analysis capabilities available to all
students and engineers and have developed an interface that integrates
Octave into the open source Office: OpenOffice (OO). We developed a
graphical interface (using some features of an earlier CtrlC derivative,
SatLab) for octave with the OO graphical environment, thereby trying to
overcome some of the limitations of Matlab. It is now e.g. possible to have
a model in Octave, the parameters in a spread sheet, and attach the
parameters in the spreadsheet to a slider. By moving the slider, the event
loop of the spreadsheet triggers the reexecution in octave and you can
observe how the octave graph is changing. This is really great for doing
trade offs and particularly for teaching. I think what our 13 year old
learned in 8 weeks in Middle School in Palo Alto about linear equations, can
now be taught in 1 day.

Having Octave in OpenOffice would also make it possible to do model based
approaches for all the other OpenOffice functionality and meake it really
the tool of choice for teaching, research and engineering.

For this integration we only had to add a few functions to Octave to support
the Open Document standard and replaced to input function of octave.

Integrating Octave into OpenOffice would make it instantly available to the
260 Million users of OpenOffice.

I have talked with the OpenOffice development team. They are very interested
in this and invited us to present this to them.

Before I talk with them and pursue this further, I would like to get your
opinion about this.

I have a diploma thesis (in German) of my student Tino Jungebloud, which
describes the interface. I uploaded this Thesis.


It sounds very interesting indeed. Once again I regret my German is so poor :)
I have tinkered with Octave - OpenOffice communication (via UNO)
myself, but I haven't got remotely this far. Is this work going to be
released as free software?
I see the thesis describes both Octave embedded in OpenOffice as well
as OO used from Octave. That seem quite versatile. It also seems that
it was developed against Octave 3.0.x series. Mayeb some work will be
necessary to update the code to work with the upcoming 3.2.x series -
parts of API have changed. Stabilizing the Octave API is something
that some of us hope to happen after 3.2.x.
In any case I'll be quite interested in helping with this integration.


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