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The list below summarizes features or bug fixes we would like to see in Octave. This list is not exclusive -- there are many other things that might be good projects, but it might instead be something we already have. Also, some of the following items may not actually be considered good ideas now.
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The list below summarizes features or bug fixes we would like to see in Octave. if you start working steadily on a project, please let octave-maintainers@octave.org know. We might have information that could help you. You should also read the [[Contribution guidelines |Contributing Guidelines]].
  
{{Note|If you never contributed to Octave before, we suggest to start with our [[Developer FAQ]].}}
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This list is not exclusive -- there are many other things that might be good projects, but it might instead be something we already have. Also, some of the following items may not actually be considered good ideas now. So please check with octave-maintainers@octave.org before you start working on some large project.
  
* Summer of Code students, please also see [[Summer of Code - Getting Started]].
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Summer of Code students, please also see [[SoC Project Ideas]].
* If you're looking for small project, see [[short projects]].
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 +
If you're looking for small project, something more suited to start getting involved with Octave development or to fill a boring evening, see [[short projects]]
  
 
=Numerical=
 
=Numerical=
 
* Use C++11 <random> libraries for random number generation.  Write link between Octave functions (rand, randi, randn, rande) and C++ API.  Implement RandStream objects as Matlab does.
 
  
 
*Improve logm, and sqrtm (see this thread: http://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/matrix-functions-td3137935.html)
 
*Improve logm, and sqrtm (see this thread: http://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/matrix-functions-td3137935.html)
  
*Use pairwise addition in sum() to mitigate against numerical errors without substantial performance penalty (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pairwise_summation).
+
*Improve complex mapper functions. See W. Kahan, ``Branch Cuts for Complex Elementary Functions, or Much Ado About Nothing's Sign Bit (in The State of the Art in Numerical Analysis, eds. Iserles and Powell, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1987) for explicit trigonometric formulae.
 
 
*Review implementing algorithm in this 2009 paper (https://epubs.siam.org/doi/pdf/10.1137/080738490) for xsum (sum with extra accuracy).  The existing implementation uses a 2005 paper.
 
 
 
*Improve complex mapper functions. See W. Kahan, ``Branch Cuts for Complex Elementary Functions, or Much Ado About Nothing's Sign Bit (in The State of the Art in Numerical Analysis, eds. Iserles and Powell, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1987) for explicit trigonometric formulae. See {{patch|8172}} for a previous attempt.
 
  
 
*Make functions like gamma() return the right IEEE Inf or NaN values for extreme args or other undefined cases.
 
*Make functions like gamma() return the right IEEE Inf or NaN values for extreme args or other undefined cases.
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*Evaluate harmonics and cross-correlations of unevenly sampled and nonstationary time series, as in http://www.jstatsoft.org/v11/i02 (which has C code with interface to R). (This is now partly implemented in the [http://octave.sourceforge.net/lssa/index.html lssa] package.)
 
*Evaluate harmonics and cross-correlations of unevenly sampled and nonstationary time series, as in http://www.jstatsoft.org/v11/i02 (which has C code with interface to R). (This is now partly implemented in the [http://octave.sourceforge.net/lssa/index.html lssa] package.)
  
<!-- == General purpose Finite Element library ==
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== General purpose Finite Element library ==
  
 
Octave-Forge already has a set of packages for discretizing Partial Differential operators by Finite Elements and/or Finite Volumes,
 
Octave-Forge already has a set of packages for discretizing Partial Differential operators by Finite Elements and/or Finite Volumes,
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* create new functions specifically suited for Octave
 
* create new functions specifically suited for Octave
 
* improve the efficiency of the code
 
* improve the efficiency of the code
The main goal for the fem-fenics package is ultimately to be merged with the FEnics project itself, so that it can remain in-sync with the main library development. -->
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The main goal for the fem-fenics package is ultimately to be merged with the FEnics project itself, so that it can remain in-sync with the main library development.
  
 
== Implement solver for initial-boundary value problems for parabolic-elliptic PDEs in 1D ==
 
== Implement solver for initial-boundary value problems for parabolic-elliptic PDEs in 1D ==
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Details on the methods to be implemented can be found in [http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/502800.502801 this paper] on bvp4c and [http://www.jnaiam.net/new/uploads/files/014dde86eef73328e7ab674d1a32aa9c.pdf this paper] on bvp5c. Further details are available in [http://books.google.it/books/about/Nonlinear_two_point_boundary_value_probl.html?id=s_pQAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y this book].
 
Details on the methods to be implemented can be found in [http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/502800.502801 this paper] on bvp4c and [http://www.jnaiam.net/new/uploads/files/014dde86eef73328e7ab674d1a32aa9c.pdf this paper] on bvp5c. Further details are available in [http://books.google.it/books/about/Nonlinear_two_point_boundary_value_probl.html?id=s_pQAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y this book].
  
<!-- == Geometric integrators for Hamiltonian Systems ==
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== Geometric integrators for Hamiltonian Systems ==
  
 
[http://openlibrary.org/books/OL9056139M/Geometric_Numerical_Integration Geometric (AKA Symplectic) integrators] are useful for  
 
[http://openlibrary.org/books/OL9056139M/Geometric_Numerical_Integration Geometric (AKA Symplectic) integrators] are useful for  
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* SHAKE, see [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constraint_algorithm here] or [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0021-9991(77)90098-5 here]
 
* SHAKE, see [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constraint_algorithm here] or [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0021-9991(77)90098-5 here]
 
* RATTLE, see [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0021-9991(83)90014-1 here] or [http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcc.540161003 here]
 
* RATTLE, see [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0021-9991(83)90014-1 here] or [http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcc.540161003 here]
-->
 
  
 
== Matlab-compatible ODE solvers in core-Octave ==
 
== Matlab-compatible ODE solvers in core-Octave ==
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* <strike> Adapt the interface of "ode45" in odepkg to be completely Matlab compatible, fix its code and documentation style and move it to Octave-core. </strike>
 
* <strike> Adapt the interface of "ode45" in odepkg to be completely Matlab compatible, fix its code and documentation style and move it to Octave-core. </strike>
 
* <strike> Build Matlab compatible versions of "ode15s" and "ode15i". jwe has prototype implementations [https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/?8102 here] of these built as wrappers to "dassl" and "daspk". An initial approach could be to just improve these wrappers, but eventually it would be better to have wrappers for "IDA" from the sundials library. </strike>
 
* <strike> Build Matlab compatible versions of "ode15s" and "ode15i". jwe has prototype implementations [https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/?8102 here] of these built as wrappers to "dassl" and "daspk". An initial approach could be to just improve these wrappers, but eventually it would be better to have wrappers for "IDA" from the sundials library. </strike>
* Improve handling of sparse Jacobians in IDE/DAE solvers
 
** Currently, in the IDA wrapper function __ode15__ an over conservative guess for the amount of memory to be allocated when assembling a sparse jacobian is used, essentially allocating enough space for a full jacobian then freeing the excess memory, an initial patch for fixing this has been posted on the tracker, for integrating this into Octave it must be generalized to support prior versions of SUNDIALS
 
** Currently Jacobians passed by the user in Octave's sparse matrix format are copied into SUNDIALS own sparse matrix format. Newer versions of SUNDIALS (5.x or higher) support letting the user take care of the linear algebra data structures and methods thus removing the need for the copy. Taking advantage of this feature would improve the solver performance both in terms of memory footprint and speed.
 
** References
 
***[https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?func=detailitem&item_id=55905 tracker post about memory allocation]
 
***[https://computing.llnl.gov/projects/sundials/release-history SUNDIALS release history]
 
 
* Implement Matlab compatible versions of "deval".
 
* Implement Matlab compatible versions of "deval".
* Complete transition of ode23s into core Octave
 
** [https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?57309 Bug tracker entry discussing ode23s]
 
  
 
== High Precision Arithmetic Computation ==
 
== High Precision Arithmetic Computation ==
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=GUI/IDE=
 
=GUI/IDE=
  
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:''See also: [[Summer of Code Project Ideas#GUI]]''
 
*Søren Hauberg has suggested that we need C++ code that can:
 
*Søren Hauberg has suggested that we need C++ code that can:
 
**Determine if a line of code could be fully parsed, i.e. it would return true for "plot (x, y);", but false for "while (true)".
 
**Determine if a line of code could be fully parsed, i.e. it would return true for "plot (x, y);", but false for "while (true)".
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**Query defined variables, i.e. get a list of currently defined variables. Bonus points if it could tell you if anything had changed since the last time you checked the variables (could also be done with signals).
 
**Query defined variables, i.e. get a list of currently defined variables. Bonus points if it could tell you if anything had changed since the last time you checked the variables (could also be done with signals).
 
* Create a better (G)UI for the {{manual|profile|profiler}}. This may be done with Qt, but not necessarily.
 
* Create a better (G)UI for the {{manual|profile|profiler}}. This may be done with Qt, but not necessarily.
 
== GUI Variable Editor and Property Inspector ==
 
 
Octave has a preliminary implementation of a Variable Editor: a spreadsheet-like tool for quickly editing and visualizing variables.  The initial phase of the project will be learning how the implementation was done.
 
 
With the knowledge gained, the second part of the project will be to implement a Property Inspector.  This is a spreadsheet like interface to the many, many graphics properties that exist and are different on a per-object basis.  The goal would be not only the concise-display of the existing properties, but a reasonable user interface to change them.  As examples, Boolean properties should be able to be toggled with a double-click; Radio properties should have a drop-down list of only the supported options; Other properties that can be modified should have the constraints built-in (for example, Linewidth must be a scalar, while Position must be a 1x4 vector).  It would also be important to have easy access to the documentation of a property.
 
 
For reference, Matlab has a similar Property Inspector (https://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/ref/inspect.html).
 
  
 
== Sisotool. Create a graphical design tool for tuning closed loop control system ([[Control package]])==
 
== Sisotool. Create a graphical design tool for tuning closed loop control system ([[Control package]])==
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The paper by [http://arxiv.org/abs/cs.MS/0604006 Bateman & Adler] is good reading for understanding the sparse matrix implementation.
 
The paper by [http://arxiv.org/abs/cs.MS/0604006 Bateman & Adler] is good reading for understanding the sparse matrix implementation.
 +
 +
*Improve QR factorization functions, using idea based on CSPARSE cs_dmsol.m
 +
 +
*Improve QR factorization by replacing CXSPARSE code with SPQR code, and make the linear solve return 2-norm solutions for ill-conditioned matrices based on this new code
  
 
*Improve Matlab compatibility for {{manual|sprandsym}}.
 
*Improve Matlab compatibility for {{manual|sprandsym}}.
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**minres
 
**minres
 
**symmlq
 
**symmlq
 
== SPQR Interface ==
 
 
Octave implements QR factorization for sparse matrices, but it does so with an older "CXSPARSE" library.  This has caused fundamental issues, including segfaults as recorded here (bugs {{bug|51950}} and {{bug|57033}}).  The goal of this project is to program an interface to the API for the SQPR library (http://faculty.cse.tamu.edu/davis/suitesparse.html).  This is the same library that Matlab uses for this purpose.
 
 
*Improve QR factorization functions, using idea based on CSPARSE cs_dmsol.m
 
 
*Improve QR factorization by replacing CXSPARSE code with SPQR code, and make the linear solve return 2-norm solutions for ill-conditioned matrices based on this new code
 
  
 
=Strings=
 
=Strings=
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*<strike> Convert build system to a non-recursive Automake setup. See how Makefile.am files currently include module.mk files in subdirectories, extend this concept to the entire project so there is only one top-level Makefile.am. </strike> Done, except for special dir libgnu which is the only SUBDIRS listed in configure.ac.
 
*<strike> Convert build system to a non-recursive Automake setup. See how Makefile.am files currently include module.mk files in subdirectories, extend this concept to the entire project so there is only one top-level Makefile.am. </strike> Done, except for special dir libgnu which is the only SUBDIRS listed in configure.ac.
  
=Documentation=
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=Documentation and On-Line Help=
:''See [[Project - Documentation]].''
+
 
 +
*Improve the Texinfo Documentation for the interpreter. It would be useful to have lots more examples, to not have so many forward references, and to not have very many simple lists of functions.
 +
 
 +
*[[Doxygen]] documentation for the C++ classes.
 +
 
 +
*Make index entries more consistent to improve behavior of <code>help -i</code>.
 +
 
 +
*Make <code>help -i</code> try to find a whole word match first.
 +
 
 +
*Add more demo files.
 +
 
 +
*Flesh out this wiki
  
 
=Tests=
 
=Tests=
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**Tests for various functions. Would be nice to have a test file corresponding to every function (see below)
 
**Tests for various functions. Would be nice to have a test file corresponding to every function (see below)
 
**Tests for element by element operators: + - .* ./ .\ .^ | & < <= == >= > != !
 
**Tests for element by element operators: + - .* ./ .\ .^ | & < <= == >= > != !
*** thorough tests for power operator including corner cases and strange combinations such as complex .^ range.
 
 
**Tests for boolean operators: && ||
 
**Tests for boolean operators: && ||
 
**Tests for other operators: * / \ ' .'
 
**Tests for other operators: * / \ ' .'
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*Reduce the amount of datatypes in liboctave.
 
*Reduce the amount of datatypes in liboctave.
 
*Re-implement operators using templates and modern C++.  Current system evolved before templates and makes extensive use of macros to define interactions between scalar<->scalar, scalar<->matrix, scalar<->float, etc., etc.
 
**In liboctave, the directory to work on is liboctave/operators
 
**In libinterp, the directory to work on is libinterp/operators
 
**In libinterp, there is also xpow.cc, xdiv.cc in libinterp/corefcn
 
  
 
=Miscellaneous=
 
=Miscellaneous=
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=Marketing and Community=
 
=Marketing and Community=
  
* Make the Octave website/[[Project Infrastructure]] easier to maintain.
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*Make the website prettier. Maybe a new design, maybe a more "corporate" design (if we're heading down the "paid support for Octave" path.
 +
 
 +
** FusionForge's "Submit a Snippet" and "Create A Package" would seem to be directly usable for Agora's "Post a Snippet" and "Share your Code", respectively: https://alioth.debian.org/snippet/.  It is FLOSS.
 +
** ScipyCentral, http://scipy-central.org/ has all the features we need and is also free software.
 +
 
 +
*Move [https://octave.sourceforge.io/ Octave-Forge] to [https://savannah.gnu.org/projects/octave/ Savannah] so everything is hosted in the same place.
 +
 
 +
*For ideas, see the [http://openoffice.apache.org/orientation/intro-marketing.html Apache Open Office Introduction to Marketing]
 +
 
 +
* Help design a user or a developer survey [http://www.openoffice.org/marketing/ooocon2006/presentations/wednesday_c10.pdf]
 +
 
 +
* Help prepare and deliver presentations about Octave at colleges and universities.
 +
 
 +
== Finish the Agora website ==
 +
 
 +
In 2009, the Mathworks decided to restrict the terms of use Matlab Central, a place dedicated to Matlab collaboration. The Mathworks forbade copyleft licenses and using the "free" code found in Matlab central on anything other than Mathworks products (e.g. forbidding from using it on Octave, even if the authors of the code wanted to allow this). Thus Octave users have no place to centrally, quickly, and conveniently share Octave code. See the [[FAQ#Why_can.27t_I_use_code_from_File_Exchange_in_Octave.3F_It.27s_released_under_a_BSD_license.21|FAQ]] for more details.
  
* Make it easier for newcomers to contribute.
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In response to this, a website started to form, [http://agora.octave.org/ Agora Octave].
  
* For marketing ideas, see the [https://openoffice.apache.org/orientation/intro-marketing.html Apache Open Office Introduction to Marketing]
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This should be relatively easy webdev in Python using [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Django_%28web_framework%29 Django].
  
* Help design a user or a [https://www.openoffice.org/marketing/ooocon2006/presentations/wednesday_c10.pdf developer survey]
+
Things to be considered when working on this:
  
* Help prepare and deliver presentations and [[Publications about Octave]] at colleges and universities.
+
* [http://octave-forge.blogspot.ie/2012/08/octconf2012-agora-and-pkg.html discussion of Agora during OctConf2012]
 +
* [http://scipy-central.org/ Scipy Central] - a website with the same objective as Agora for Scipy. Their [https://github.com/scipy/SciPyCentral Code] is released under a BSD license. Might be useful to reuse some parts.
  
* Create a [[Forum for GNU Octave]].
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Most of the basic functionality of Agora is already in, but there are many ways in which it could be improved, such as implementing comment threads, giving it an email interface, or a ReSTful API which could be used from Octave for package management. See also [[Agora]]. Talk to [[User:JordiGH|Jordi]]
  
 
== Improve Windows binary packaging ==
 
== Improve Windows binary packaging ==
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'''Skills Required''': Knowledge of GNU build systems, Makefiles, configure files, chasing library dependencies, how to use a compiler. No m-scripting or C++ necessary, beyond understanding [http://david.rothlis.net/c/compilation_model/ the C++ compilation model].
 
'''Skills Required''': Knowledge of GNU build systems, Makefiles, configure files, chasing library dependencies, how to use a compiler. No m-scripting or C++ necessary, beyond understanding [http://david.rothlis.net/c/compilation_model/ the C++ compilation model].
  
== Improve macOS binary packaging ==
+
== Improve Mac OS X binary packaging ==
 
 
We would like to be able to easily generate binary packages for macOS. Right now, it's difficult and tedious to do so. Most OS X users install Octave using one of the source-based package managers such as Homebrew or MacPorts. Any way to help us build a binary package would be appreciated. Required knowledge is understanding how building binaries in macOS works. Our current approach to building binaries for Windows is to cross-compile from a GNU system using [http://mxe.cc/ MXE], something similar may be possible for OS X ([http://lilypond.org/gub/ GUB]?).
 
  
There is a third-party project called [http://octave-app.org "Octave.app"] that creates and distributes macOS builds of Octave as a Mac app bundle. It is built on top of Homebrew and a set of custom Octave-related Homebrew formuale.
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We would like to be able to easily generate binary packages for Mac OS X. Right now, it's difficult and tedious to do so. Most OS X users install Octave using one of the source-based package managers such as Homebrew or MacPorts. Any way to help us build a binary package would be appreciated. Required knowledge is understanding how building binaries in Mac OS X works. Our current approach to building binaries for Windows is to cross-compile from a GNU system using [http://mxe.cc/ MXE], something similar may be possible for OS X ([http://lilypond.org/gub/ GUB]?).
  
 
'''Skills Required''': Knowledge of GNU build systems, Makefiles, configure files, chasing library dependencies, how to use a compiler. If you choose to work on GUB, Python will be required. No m-scripting or C++ necessary, beyond understanding [http://david.rothlis.net/c/compilation_model/ the C++ compilation model].
 
'''Skills Required''': Knowledge of GNU build systems, Makefiles, configure files, chasing library dependencies, how to use a compiler. If you choose to work on GUB, Python will be required. No m-scripting or C++ necessary, beyond understanding [http://david.rothlis.net/c/compilation_model/ the C++ compilation model].
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=Performance=
 
=Performance=
  
* A profiler for Octave would be a very useful tool. And now we have one! But it really needs a better interface.
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*A profiler for Octave would be a very useful tool. And now we have one! But it really needs a better interface.
* Having {{Codeline|parfor}} functioning would speed code development and execution now that multicore architectures are widespread. See [http://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/Parfor-td4630575.html here] and [http://stackoverflow.com/questions/24970519/how-to-use-parallel-for-loop-in-octave-or-scilab here]. Existing code from the [[Parallel package | parallel]] and [http://octave.sourceforge.net/mpi/index.html mpi] packages could perhaps be adapted for this.
+
*Having {{Codeline|parfor}} functioning would speed code development and execution now that multicore architectures are widespread. See [http://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/Parfor-td4630575.html here] and [http://stackoverflow.com/questions/24970519/how-to-use-parallel-for-loop-in-octave-or-scilab here]. Existing code from the [[Parallel package | parallel]] and [http://octave.sourceforge.net/mpi/index.html mpi] packages could perhaps be adapted for this.
* Develop a performance benchmark for Octave (interpreter, load/save, plotting, etc., but not simply tests of underlying libraries such as BLAS or LAPACK).  This benchmark could be run periodically to make sure that changes during development do not introduce regressions in performance.
 
  
 
=Packaging=
 
=Packaging=

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