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effin' compatibility

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: effin' compatibility
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 12:42:00 -0400

Recent versions of Matlab have introduced functions like mkdir that
return logical(1) for success and logical(0) for failure.  Octave has
had mkdir for a long time now, but returns double(0) for success and
double(-1) for failure, same as the underlying mkdir system call.

For compatibility, I think we will have to change the behavior of
Octave's functions.

Perhaps we should rename all the posix system calls to be posix_XXX
instead of XXX, then implement the Matlab compatible behavior in .m
files?  Should we just do this (are these functions widely used
anyway?) or should we expend extra effort to try to make the
transition a bit smoother?  I don't really see a way to make a smooth
transition that doesn't also add a lot of hassle for us, so I'm more
in favor of just modifying the code and breaking backward
compatibility with previous versions of Octave in this case.

Comments or suggestsions?


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