OctConf 2012

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OctConf 2012 will bring together users and developers for five days in July in the French Canadian summer.

Please email Jordi (jordigh@octave.org) if you think you could attend. Also write your name below in the Participants section if you think of attending with high probability.

IMPORTANT: In order to give you wireless access during the conference, our host university requires your name and address 3 weeks in advance to the conference date. Email this information to Jordi so he can make arrangements.

OctConf 2012 poster


Montréal, Québec, Canada

Montréal is lively city with English and French widely spoken plus many other minority languages. Most business can be conducted in either language. It has four large universities, two Anglophones, McGill, Concordia; and two Francophones: Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), and Université de Montréal. The Centre de Recherches Mathématiques (CRM) is a mathematical centre that brings together researchers from all four universities and many others from Montréal and Canada.

The Montréal summer can be quite hot and humid with some chance of rain. The city has a very serviceable public transportation network of buses and underground trains (metro), so it is convenient to get around without renting a car.


The CRM will be offering its Université de Montréal facilities for the conference. There is an eponymous metro station that reaches the university.

How to get there

Until the right pavilion is assigned, the reference street address is:

Centre de recherches mathématiques
Université de Montréal
Pavillon André-Aisenstadt
2920 Chemin de la tour, room 5357
Montréal (Québec)
H3T 1J4

Take your flight to the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.


There are several hotels and cheaper lodging in Montréal. Additionally, the universities McGill University, Université de Montréal) offer dormitory-style lodgings. The CRM also has more suggestions.


July 16-20, 2012. First two days are intended for newbies and casual users, who may possibly be interested in getting involved in development. Next three days are for code sprints and development. Participants are encouraged to attend for all 5 days, but may choose only the first two or last three as convenient.


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
08:30 Coffee & croissants Coffee & croissants Coffee & croissants Coffee & croissants Coffee & croissants
09:00 Talk — What is Octave? Talk — Octave's source layout Open presentations Open presentations Open presentations
10:00 Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break
10:30 Tour de table and installations Talk Talk Talk Talk
11:30 Tutorial 1: Working the REPL Tutorial 3: Writing oct files Open presentations Open presentations Open presentations
12:30 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
14:30 Tutorial 2: m-scripts and vectorisation Tutorial 4: Working with dev tools Exercises and code sprints Exercises and code sprints Exercises and code sprints
15:30 Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break
16:00 Code sprints Code sprints Code sprints Code sprints Code sprints
17:00 Status reports Status reports Status reports Status reports Status reports
18:00 Social event

Some specifics:


Introductions, "What is Octave?" talk for a general audience (advertise this a lot in the local scientific computing and engineering communities). Helping with Octave installations, presentations about basic Octave use.


More advanced Octave use, including calling Octave from C++ code. Minimum C++ knowledge necessary expounded. How to work with development tools (reading the Octave source code, using Mercurial, bug and patch trackers, mailing lists, IRC).

Social event during evening.


State-of-the-Octave address. Identify problems to work on, pair off and start working on those problems. Code sprints.
Potential topics of interest

  • comparison of functionality between Octave and Matlab (what is the same, what is close, what is either different or significantly slower)
  • availability and operability of profiling tools for Octave
  • availability and operability of GUI interfaces to Octave
  • 64-bit indexing for extremely large arrays
  • Discussion of what belongs in Octave Core and what is a package or toolbox
  • Discussion about minimum functionality for Octave Core
  • Parallel computing using Octave
  • Octave in an enterprise setting (making Octave updates trivial for maintenance in large scale computing infrastructures)
  • Octave binary for OS-X - what should be included in an all-in-one installer? What versions of OS-X can/should be "supported"
  • Octave binary for Windows - what should be included in an all-in-one installer? What versions of Windows can/should be "supported"


Reports of results of the previous day. Tech talks if necessary. More code sprints.


Reports. Last code sprint. Farewells.

Suggestions for Sessions

Clean up Bugs

Code sprint to clean up the bug tracker. This would include identifying and closing duplicates, as well as re-qualifying "bugs" that represent feature requests, and closing reports that aren't actually bugs.

Cross-platform FLTK Bugs

Developers using Linux, MacOS, and Windows cooperate to fix FLTK bugs. This represents an important effort toward changing the default graphics toolkit from gnuplot to FLTK. See bugs #31518, #31976, #32134, #32276, #34720.

Code Sprint for the Wiki

Define an effective organizational structure for the new wiki, and clean up the existing content.



There is limited funding to cover the travel expenses of selected participants.