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octavede - a ide for octave

From: John Swensen
Subject: octavede - a ide for octave
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2006 21:46:14 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Macintosh/20060909)

I have been working on an IDE for octave for an hour or two a week for the past 2 years or so. Sometimes I have had stretches where little progress is made, but I think there is enough in place to let everyone know about it. It is still probably pre-alpha, and now that I am a first year grad student I haven't had much time for anything other than classwork, but here it is none-the-less.


I still don't have a web page up, just the project page and you will have to retrieve the sources from subversion. I have a few screenshots up of what it looks like. A while back I submitted a patch that had essentially been written by someone else and JWE pointed me to it. I simply cleaned it up and made other changes the VTE maintainer wanted and resubmitted. In essence, it allows VTE to "swallow" up the PIDs of child processes so there isn't a process shown for the IDE *and* for octave, just one for the combination.

Currently the method for interacting with Octave in *not* thread safe. I simply check to see if the interpreter isn't in a command and then pull the history and variable information. I haven't had it crash on me a single time since I put multiple check in at different points to determine whether the interpreter is in a command, but probability says that I can guarantee it will happen at some point. I did however run the Octave2.m benchmark from sciviews.org with and without the IDE and there was a 10 millisecond difference for the cumulative runtime, so I think it is safe to say that the IDE doesn't add a lot of overhead. One of the main reasons I am posting to this list is to probe the waters about adding some hooks into the interpreter such that after a command returns to the top level or hits a break point that information queried by the IDE can be pushed into some thread-safe object for later retrieval by the IDE.

The editor still needs a lot of work, and I personally would like to give it emacs key-bindings, or even just embed the Xemacs widget in a window that is part of octavede. If anyone is a GtkSourceView wizard, I am not and could use help.

I don't have a good list of dependencies off hand, but you can look in the configure.ac file for a list and any recent version of the autotools will let you know the exact packages that are missing. I have tested it on x86 Ubuntu, PowerPC Mac, and IntelMac and they seem to work fine. It ran on cygwin/X11 with the GTK stuff from cygwinports a little while back, but I don't have a Windows machine anymore, so I can't test it.

Any questions or comments can be sent to me directly or posted on the sourceforge forums and I will try to answer them in a timely manner.

John Swensen

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