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Re: MatLab-5 .mat file: Octave fails to read

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: Re: MatLab-5 .mat file: Octave fails to read
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 11:22:00 -0600

On 25-Mar-1998, John D. Jegla <address@hidden> wrote:

| This problem is killing me too.  I always forget to type "save -v4" in
| Matlab, so then Octave can't read the files.

Sorry, but if there were free code available to read Matlab version 5
files, or if the details of the file format were published somewhere,
Octave could probably support most of the file format, just as it
currently does for the older version 4 file format.

Perhaps you should complain the the MathWorks for having proprietary
data file formats.  But don't expect it to help much.  They will
likely tell you that they have provided `free' (of charge) software to
solve your problem (too bad if your system is not one of the platforms
for which they provide binaries).

| The ftp directory
| ftp://
| and its subdirs seem to have the header files required to build
| Matlab 5.x MAT files.  Not being much of a c/c++ programmer, I don't
| know if this information is sufficient or not.  There are also lots
| of architecture-dependent libraries for reading and writing MAT files
| as well...

You need the libraries too, I think.  As far as I know, the header
files just provide interface and the declarations of functions that
you can call.  I believe the actual functions are distributed in
binary form only, in the libraries that you mention.  Since the
libraries are not free software, they can't be linked with Octave.
Also, as I understand things, it would also be a violation of the GPL
to distribute functions for Octave that provide an interface to the
non-free code, and expect the user to do the link.


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