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Default GUI or CLI for 3.8

From: Rik
Subject: Default GUI or CLI for 3.8
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2013 08:30:32 -0800


Taking up a suggestion made earlier this week, I think we should seriously
consider whether running bare "octave" launches the GUI or the CLI.  I
propose that it continue to launch the CLI, as it would resolve several
current problems.

First, from a marketing perspective we would really like to introduce the
GUI along with a major version number change to 4.0.  Second, we have
waited nearly two years for a new stable release and it is time to do so
regardless of one or two outstanding bugs (and there are always a few
outstanding bugs around a release).  Third, the GUI is definitely ready for
testing and we need user feedback to improve it, but it is not a finished
product.  Releasing it and saying that it is bug-free and ready for
installation everywhere on all production systems would be incorrect and
probably lead to a slew of negative reactions for the Octave project.

As a way out of this morass, I propose that we release with the legacy
behavior of launching the CLI.  A command-line option such as "--gui" would
be used to launch the GUI.  This benefits legacy users who would finally
get the many other great changes in the code base over the last two years
and still have a rock-solid platform.  And it would be trivially easy for
people who want to play with the GUI to add a single command-line option to
their invocation.  It also gets us out of any promises, implied or stated,
that the GUI should work as perfectly and seamlessly as the CLI for this

Is this an acceptable compromise?


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