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OctConf 2018 Notes

2,033 bytes added, 10:31, 13 March 2018
→‎Talking: Octave Forge community
; Octave Forge community
Currently, there is a high barrier to publish new packages for Octave on Octave-Forge. This mainly comes from the maintenance burden that the Octave Forge Community has with the packages. In particular: * The package has to be actively maintained in order to stay compatible with updates to Octave core* There is no known good solution to have a Matlab-compatible package, which respects the requirements of an OF package* The list of initial requirements (legal and technical) is quite high for outside contributers, especially for domain experts (which we want to address) who are no software engineersThis creates problems for some external package authors, who basically want to release on their own. Also, this is not resolved by the *two package groups* that we have introduced during the last year. We see potential for more Octave package publications, which come from “one-off” publications (e. g. with a book / thesis), existing Matlab packages (which also offer a Octave variant), and simple (experimental) libraries of m-files. To increase the pool of high-level users we need to reduce even more the burden to install and distribute packages independently.  The problem that we see today is that Octave-Forge is two-fold: (1) a (collaborative) software development platform and (2) a (re-)distributor of software. So, these new use-cases would not be part of Octave-Forge. In the context of an increasing number of independent “Github developers” this is not needed so much. To do this we bring back the idea of allowing `pkg` to download and install directly from a url to a `.zip` file or `.tar.gz` file, e.g. `pkg install 'https://myrepo.org/mypackage.zip'`: * There will be no checks (nor quality standard) on these packages and the user should be clearly warned about :** Security issue: With no https the insecurity download can be redirected. The user can be tricked into entering this command, which downloads and installs (y/n answer?=runs)arbitrary software.** Feedback/QA issue:: If that package doesn't work, users are probably asking for help.* Should `pkg update` also work for these packages? ** Maybe no. Just re-run the install command.:: ** If needed, there could be an update url in the DESCRIPTION file* We need to provide guidelines, recommendations and tools for people trying to distribute their packages. We are doing something in this direction, but we need a little boost here: https://octave.sourceforge.io/templates/Makefile, https://sourceforge.net/p/octave/example-package/ci/default/tree/* If a package can be installed directly from the repository, it would be supported out-of-the-box by Github, Gitlab, … Also, we discussed a “package database” like it is done in Julia (see [https://github.com/JuliaLang/METADATA.jl] for a very lightweight solution, which only contains package names, URLs and version), but don't see advantages from that right now.
; packages into Octave core
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