[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: The future of Octave
From: |
j . logsdon |
Subject: |
Re: The future of Octave |
Date: |
Sat, 9 Dec 2000 23:29:32 +0000 (GMT) |
jwe has carried the load for far too long and has every right to call a
break. He clearly deserves all our thanks.
It will in the long run be better for both John and Octave if he steps
back and lets someone else - or better a group - to take the lead but why
have things got to this level?
I don't really want to use too much bandwidth but while I still use Octave
on occasion, for most of my work I now use R - the statistical program.
Mainly this is because I do statistical work although the syntax is not as
natural as Octave's.
The comparison is interesting since R is an open source implementation of
the S language. The comparable closed-source program is S-Plus which
curiously is also (now) owned by MathSoft. Like Matlab, it is expensive
for a single user to buy (particularly on a Linux box). Are Mathsoft
profiteering? Is too much of the licence fee going to sales and marketing
junkets chasing a rather difficult set of prospective purchasers rather
than slashing the cost? The high (relative) cost of Matlab in a general
purpose environment means that there remains an important section of the
world community that needs a program like Octave (or Scilab or tlab or
...).
Since R is a program or environment for statistical calculations rather
than an operating system, this is a better comparison I think than the one
already mentioned of Linux.
The R core team has managed to avoid overloading one member (actually it
started with two people anyway) and is spread world wide. The program
continues apace and in a number of respects is faster and better than it's
commercial counterpart while missing some of the addons. Most of the
libraries written (openly) for S-Plus have now been ported to R.
Why has the R approach worked and Octave one not? Is it because there is
a clear target language, in which most libraries etc are written, rather
than a moving target where the target calls the shots? Is it because
there is a better defined user-group (ie statisticians rather than anyone
who uses matrices from time to time)? Is it because it is a higher level
language?
There are many other questions but the big problem is - what can be done
to bring Octave development closer to the R model? Is it worth trying?
How do these groups develop? This is really a problem I think for a
sociologist to answer but perhaps there are some thoughts on the list.
John
-------------------------------------------------------------
Octave is freely available under the terms of the GNU GPL.
Octave's home on the web: http://www.octave.org
How to fund new projects: http://www.octave.org/funding.html
Subscription information: http://www.octave.org/archive.html
-------------------------------------------------------------
- Re: The future of Octave, (continued)
- Re: The future of Octave, David Doolin, 2000/12/07
- Re: The future of Octave, John W. Eaton, 2000/12/08
- Re: The future of Octave, Stef Pillaert (KAHO), 2000/12/08
- Re: The future of Octave, Paul Kienzle, 2000/12/09
- Re: The future of Octave, Rafael Laboissiere, 2000/12/09
- Re: The future of Octave,
j . logsdon <=
- Re: The future of Octave, Kevin Straight, 2000/12/10
- Re: The future of Octave, Przemek Klosowski, 2000/12/11
- Re: The future of Octave, Trond Eivind GlomsrØd, 2000/12/11
- Re: The future of Octave, João Cardoso, 2000/12/11
- Re: The future of Octave, Trond Eivind GlomsrØd, 2000/12/11
- Re: The future of Octave, Kevin Straight, 2000/12/13
- Re: The future of Octave, Paul Kienzle, 2000/12/08
- Re: The future of Octave, Andy Adler, 2000/12/08