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Questions regarding Octave

Started by Eric Jacobsen March 23, 2008
Randy Yates wrote:
> Eric Jacobsen <eric.jacobsen@ieee.org> writes: >> [...] >> Quick follow-up: > > I submit that much of the bizarredness you're experiencing is due to > your choice of operating system and toolsets. I have had none of these > problems under linux (Fedora 8). Installing octave took two lines: > > yum install octave > yum install octave-forge > > That's it and I'm up and running.
Hi Randy, Without debating the relative merits of Linux and Windows, let me just say that Octave is yet another one of those GNU-style packages that provides Windows support only as an afterthought. (Though one can be grateful, at least, that such afterthoughts have become increasingly common since I first began trying out such things about 10 years ago.) You're correct in the sense that the choice of operating system and toolsets is a big factor. But that's only because Windows users aren't using the operating system and toolset that the Octave people have ordained - but who died and left _them_ in charge? ;-) A few years ago, I tried to "just lay back and enjoy" the Octave build experience, to paraphrase the great James Watt. I was running Red Hat Linux 6.4 or something (I forget exactly). My thinking was, well, compiling Octave on Windows is an ordeal so let's just play their game. But it wouldn't compile on that Linux version either! I later learned that that particular version of Red Hat and/or GCC was famously bad; evidently both the earlier and later versions worked better. Currently, I use Ubuntu Linux on my laptop but I only play preloaded games on it because I can't get its wireless network connection to work - except by rebooting to Windows. ;-) About six months ago, I downloaded the latest version of Octave for Windows and it worked great for me. But I was just tinkering with it as a proxy to test some Matlab-compatible C++ functions I was trying to write so I'm not any sort of power user. I was quite impressed, though, with how closely it matched Matlab in terms of numeric results for the basic paces I put it through. total-cost-of-ownership-ly y'rs, =g2 _____________________________________________________________________ Grant R. Griffin Publisher of dspGuru http://www.dspguru.com Iowegian International Corporation http://www.iowegian.com See http://www.iowegian.com/img/contact.gif for e-mail address
"Grant Griffin" <nobody@example.com> wrote in message 
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> I use Ubuntu Linux on my laptop but > I only play preloaded games on it because I can't get its > wireless network > connection to work - except by rebooting to Windows. ;-) >
Two thoughts: (1) My personal preference says, "try CentOS 4.4 or 5.1." It's "Open Redhat". A lot of things will start working the way they should. The version number maps directly to the RH distribution: CentOS 4.4 corresponds to Redhat 4 Update 4. Works everywhere, every time (in my experience). www.centos.org (2) For problems like you describe, my Linux guru buddy at work prescribes the following answer: install VMWare, in your case under Windows, then install and run Linux in a VM under Windows. This will put Windows in charge of your device drivers, especially your network card, and allow Linux running in the VM to communicate through it. My understanding is that both O/Ses run simultaneously. I don't know this to be true.
Grant Griffin wrote:

> Without debating the relative merits of Linux and Windows, let me just > say that Octave is yet another one of those GNU-style packages that > provides Windows support only as an afterthought.
Anybody who has *ever* tried to port working code from Linux to windows will tell you how much pain is involved. For what its worth I consider windows, the closest possible thing to the Death Station 9000: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeathStation_9000 My experience with porting windows has only been on my own small projects libsndfile and libsamplerate. Even for libsndfile, providing good windows support took far, *far* more effort than providing Mac OSX and SUN Solaris support combined. The amount of work required to make something like Octave work on windows would be several orders of magnitude more difficult.
> But it wouldn't compile on that Linux version either! I later learned > that that particular version of Red Hat and/or GCC was famously bad;
Red Hat has broken out on their own a couple of times and every time they do, they end up making it harder for their users.
> evidently both the earlier and later versions worked better. Currently, > I use Ubuntu Linux on my laptop but I only play preloaded games on it > because I can't get its wireless network connection to work - except by > rebooting to Windows. ;-)
If you can get that Ubuntu laptop to a wired connection, I suggest that you try installing Ocatve using the package manager (aptitude, synaptic or apt-get). I've been using Linux (currently Ubuntu) for over a decade and the only software I install from source code is stuff I write myself or stuff I want to inspect or hack on. Erik -- ----------------------------------------------------------------- Erik de Castro Lopo ----------------------------------------------------------------- "I saw `cout' being shifted "Hello world" times to the left and stopped right there." -- Steve Gonedes
Grant Griffin <nobody@example.com> writes:

> Hi Randy,
Hi Grant!
> [...] > You're correct in the sense that the choice of operating system and > toolsets is a big factor. But that's only because Windows users > aren't using the operating system and toolset that the Octave people > have ordained
I don't agree. I think there are a bundle of "bad" decisions that OSs from Redmond have made that have severely hamper the usability of those OSs, whether for open-source based applications or otherwise.
> - but who died and left _them_ in charge? ;-)
That question is much more appropriate for Microsoft, in my opinion, since they are the ones who have attempted to manipulate technologies, markets, and users for decades.
> A few years ago, I tried to "just lay back and enjoy" the Octave build > experience, to paraphrase the great James Watt.
:) Actually, you hit on one of the most painful experiences I've ever had with open-source. Under Fedora, most things one needs are already packaged and laid up in a repository so that you can use the very convenient "yum" package manager. However, some things must still be built from source (xemacs is a recent example, for me). I too tried to build Octave from source about two years ago and it is the one application that I was never able to build correctly. The configuration that was required for some of the numerical libraries was absolutely insane. I pity you and anyone else who tried to build octave in that era.
> Currently, I use Ubuntu Linux on my laptop but I only play > preloaded games on it because I can't get its wireless network > connection to work - except by rebooting to Windows. ;-)
Again, you've narrowed in on an embarrassing lack in linux. It took me 3 or 4 DAYs to get the Netgear wlan card working on my wife's Fedora 8 system. I'm stuck with ndiswrapper, built custom for the kernel, along with the XP driver files for the card, but it works. But hey, I'm glad your kicking the tires... -- % Randy Yates % "So now it's getting late, %% Fuquay-Varina, NC % and those who hesitate %%% 919-577-9882 % got no one..." %%%% <yates@ieee.org> % 'Waterfall', *Face The Music*, ELO http://www.digitalsignallabs.com
"Eric Jacobsen" schrieb im Newsbeitrag 
> > Since it doesn't appear to be a problem with the file > itself or the code within the file, only the name, > I think the error message is inappropriate. > e.g., you type 'foo' at the CMD line like so: > > >foo > error: undefined 'foo' near line 50 in column 1 > > You look inside foo.M or Foo.m and there's only ten lines. >
I think you are plagued by a misunderstanding here. If you type xxxyyyzzz at the command line and octave says: error: 'xxxyyyzzz' undefined near line 6 column 1 this means that it is undefined at the place of your current input file, in this case your command history.
> If it did find the file,
It did not find the file ...
> then why report a problem 40 lines past the end
it didn't get as far as opening and reading the file, if there had been a problem in the file, it would have reported another error.
> [...] and if it didn't find the file, why report a problem > specific to a line and column number?
In the time-honored UNIX way (the one and only way to digital enlightenment), everything is a file. In the case of the octave command prompt, it is standard input (stdin).
> This could be with 'foo' being the first > command after starting the shell, so there's no > ambiguity in the context.
??? Start octave, type a few valid commands, look at the command prompt, then type an unrecognized command: octave.exe:117> pi ans = 3.1416 octave.exe:118> xxxyyyzzz error: 'xxxyyyzzz' undefined near line 118 column 1 If you put the offending command in a file called tst.m at the 4th line, you'll get octave.exe:120> tst error: 'xxxyyyzzz' undefined near line 4 column 1 error: near line 4 of file `tst.m`
> > I don't remember having a comparable problem in Matlab, > but it's been a while, so... ;) >
It's been a while I worked with Matlab, but AFAIR the error messages are similar and I'd venture to say that you got used to them back them and interpreted them correctly.
> > >> The plot window discipline > >> seems a bit off as well, since it'll intrude into > >> a Remote Desktop window and that's very unusual and > >> I'd consider it a bug. > >> > > Huh? Works as expected here (with the exception that I > > haven't found out how to zoom in/out on a plot window). > > FWIW, what I mean is that generally a Remote Desktop window, > which I use very frequently for hours at a time, is treated > as somewhat sacred by MS, i.e., nothing that pops up on the > near machine appears in the window for the remote machine. >
I don't quite understand what you want to say, but you might want to look at the configuration dialog (wrench icon) and untick the "put the window at the top of your desktop after each plot (raise)" option.
> I couldnt' find any window menu or options at all in > the plot windows.
h on the figure gives you help on plot window actions. HTH Martin