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Octave 3.0

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: Octave 3.0
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 14:26:21 -0500

It's been more than two years (!) since I posted the following list of
goals for the mythical Octave 3.0

  * some support for MPI

  * N-dimensional arrays

  * sparse matrices

  * clean up the load-save mess

  * extend cell arrays, struct arrays, and function handles to also be

  * finish implementation of cell arrays and struct arrays:
      -- cell(idx) = [] to delete elements
      -- a(1).x = 1; a(2).x = 2; a.x => c.s. list, [a.x] => num array
      -- allow [x{:}] = f (...) to work
      -- and other little details like this...

  * [ ... ] should concatenate array-like objects other than matrices

  * inline functions

  * private functions

  * bring the manual up to date

Most of these items have been completed (thanks to David Bateman for
his work on a number of large changes).  In addition, we have other
significant new features that were not on the list, including integer
data types, linear programming, and many bug fixes (I hope we have not
added mroe than we have fixed).  David suggested that I update the
list, so here is my current list of items:

  * merge 64-bit changes to Octave (contributed, but needs some work)

  * mpi interface for Octave (have contributed code, actually several
    options at this point)

  * better documentation for Octave internals and writing .oct files
    (some contributed documents are available, but need work)

  * make [x{:}] = f (args) work

  * what to do about \ escapes?  (I will send a separate message about
    this soon)

  * revise manual to better match the current state of the code

  * secondary goals for 3.0 (could be bumped to later release):

    -- merge core functions from octave-forge (probably some now, some
       later, I will post another message about this soon)

    -- private functions (special treatment for functions in
       subdirectories named "private" in the LOADPATH)

    -- objects (special treatment for functions in @CLASSNAME
       directories in the LOADPATH, and dispatching code to allow
       function overloading)

    -- nested functions compatible with matlab 7.x (I almost did this
       when implementing subfunctions, but punted because it seemed
       likely that whatever I chose would be incompatible with some
       future changes in Matlab, so I'm glad I waited).

    -- package system (with this, split some code out of core
       distribution and into separate packages)

I think it is reasonable to aim for a release by late summer or early
fall (maybe sooner if all the secondary goals are pushed to a later



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