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Add reference to Pairwise Summation
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 [http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/doc/interpreter/Contributing-Guidelines.html#Contributing-Guidelines [Contribution guidelines |Contributing Guidelines chapter] in the [http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/doc/interpreter/ Octave manual].
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.
*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).
 
*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.
*Add optional arguments to colloc so that it's not restricted to Legendre polynomials.
 
*Fix eig to also be able to solve the generalized eigenvalue problem, and to solve for eigenvalues and eigenvectors without performing a balancing step first.
*Move rand, eye, xpow, xdiv, etc., functions to the matrix classes.
 
*Use octave_allocator for memory management in Array classes once g++ supports static member templates.
*Improve design of ODE, DAE, classes.
== Matlab-compatible ODE solvers in core-Octave ==
* <strike> Adapt "odeset" and "odeget" from the odepkg package so that the list of supported options is more Matlab-compatible, in the sense that all option names that are supported by Matlab should be available. On the other hand, Matlab returns an error if an option which is not in the list of known options is passed to "odeset", but we would rather make this a warning in order to allow for special extensions, for example for symplectic integrators.</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/index.php?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>
* Implement Matlab compatible versions of "deval".
The Linear Algebra Fortran libraries used by Octave make use of of single (32 bits) and double (64 bits) precision floating point numbers. Many operations are stopped when matrices condition number goes below 1e-16: such matrices are considered as ill-conditioned. There are cases where this is not enough, for instance simulations implying chemical concentrations covering the range 10^4 up to 10^34. There are a number of ways to increase the numerical resolution, like f.i. make use of 128 bits quadruple precision numbers available in GFortran. A simpler option is to build an interface over Gnu MPL arbitrary precision library, which is used internally by gcc and should be available on any platform where gcc runs. Such approach has been made available for MatLab under the name mptoolbox and is licensed under a BSD license. The author kindly provided a copy of the latest version and agreed to have it ported under Octave and re-distributed under GPL v3.0
The architecture consists of an Octave class interface implementing "mp" (multi-precision) objects. Arithmetic operations are forwarded to MPL using MEX files. This is totally transparent to the end user, except when displaying numbers. This implementation needs to be ported and tested under Octave.
=GUI/IDE=
**Evaluate a line of code and return the output as a string (it would be best if it could provide three strings: output, warnings and errors).
**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).
**Make the links in the "Experimental GUI info" dialog box (the one that appears when the button "More Info" is pressed) clickable. They are not clickable in the 3.8.2-2 version (at least not on Windows 7). == Implement a Qt widget for manipulating plots == Octave has had for some time a native OpenGL plotter. The plotter requires some user interaction for manipulating the plots, and it's been using fltk for quite some time. We want to replace this with Qt, so it fits better with the overall GUI look-and-feel and is easier to extend in the future. [https://github.com/goffioul/QtHandles QtHandles] is a current work in progress integrating the octave OpenGL renderer plus good support for GUI elements (uicontrol, uimenu, uitoolbar...). This project may initially consists of integrating the existing QtHandles code base into Octave. Then if time permits, further improvements can be made to QtHandles. == Create a better (G)UI for the {{manual|profile|profiler == During GSoC 2011, Daniel Kraft successfully implemented a profiler for Octave. It needs a better interface and a way to generate reports}}. This may be done with Qt, but not necessarily, and HTML reports might also be good.
== Sisotool. Create a graphical design tool for tuning closed loop control system (control pkg[[Control package]]) ==
When tuning a SISO feedback system it is very helpful to be able to grab a pole or a zero and move them by dragging them with the mouse. As they are moving the software must update all the plotted lines. There should be the ability to display various graphs rlocuse, bode, step, impulse etc. and have them all change dynamically as the mouse is moving. The parameters of the compensator must be displayed and updated.
 == Interface to Electronic Circuit Simulator == Recently, some implementation was done during [[httpSummer_of_Code#GSoC_2018|GSoC 2018]], see https://sourceforgeeriveltongualter.github.net/projectsio/qucsGSoC2018/ Qucs] is a C++ based circuit simulation package. This project aims to improve the interface to the Qucs algorithms to allow the transient, i.e. time series, simulation of circuits in Octave within a larger ODE system simulation driven by Octave. Other possible goals would be to make other analysis types available directly from Octave. There is an existing C++ interface which is based on handle class syntax available in the development version of Octave. The Qucs interface is intended to have two modes, synchronous and asynchronous. The asynchronous mode uses qucs to solve a circuit between two given time steps (internally taking as many smaller time steps as required), returning only the final result. This method is well developed. The alternative synchronous mode is intended to give full control of the time steps to Octave, and it is this mode which requires more work. A simple synchronous interface exists which can be built upon. '''Main Goals'''* Improve the functionality of the transient solver interface by implementing a robust synchronous simulation mode that integrates well with Octave ode solvers, particularly those from the odepkg package from OctaveForgehtml for details. * Create interface to other analysis types (AC, DC, S-Parameter and Harmonic Balance)* Packaging the interface for Octave, to make it available through OctaveForge
=Sparse Matrices=
*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
*Implement fourth argument to the sprand and sprandn, and addition arguments to Improve Matlab compatibility for {{manual|sprandsym that the leading brand implements}}.
*Sparse logical indexing in idx_vector class so that something like '<code>a=sprandn(1e6,1e6,1e-6); a(a<1) = 0' ;</code> won't cause a memory overflow.
*Other missing Functions
**<strike>symmmd</strike> (Superseded by symamd)
**<strike>colmmd</strike> (Superseded by colamd)
**<strike>cholinc (or ichol)</strike>
**<strike>luinc (or ilu)</strike>
**<strike>bicg</strike> Moved into octave-core
**<strike>gmres</strike>Moved into octave-core
**lsqr
**minres
**qmr (see [https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/?8569 Savannah Patch Tracker])
**symmlq
=Strings=
 
*Make find work for strings.
*Consider making octave_print_internal() print some sort of text representation for unprintable characters instead of sending them directly to the terminal. (But don't do this for fprintf!)
if (expr) 'this is a string' end
is parsed as IF expr STRING END. ''(see [https://mailmanlists.caegnu.wisc.eduorg/archive/pipermailhtml/octave-maintainers/2014-March03/039554msg00087.html this] post on the mailing list)''
*Clean up functions in input.cc that handle user input (there currently seems to be some unnecessary duplication of code and it seems overly complex).
*Too much time is spent allocating and freeing memory. What can be done to improve performance?
 
Use move constructors rather than copy constructors for things like dim_vectors which are repeatedly created just to initialize Array or Matrix objects.
*Error output from Fortran code is ugly. Something should be done to make it look better.
*<strike>Per the following discussion, allow bsxfun style singleton dimension expansion as the default behavior for the builtin element-wise operators: http://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/Vector-approach-to-row-margin-frequencies-tp1636361p1636367.html</strike> This is done. <strike>Now [[User:JordiGH|I]] just have to document it.</strike> This is done too!
 
* Start the development of classdef (already underway)
== Improve JIT compiling ==
Octave's interpreter is ''very'' slow on some loops. Recently, thanks to Max Brister's work, an initial implement implementation of a just-in-time compiler (JITC) in [http://llvm.org LLVM] for GSoC 2012. This project consists in understanding Max's current implementation and extending it so that functions and exponents (e.g. 2^z) compile with the JITC. This requires knowledge of compilers, C++, LLVM, and the Octave or Matlab languages. A capable student who demonstrates the ability to acquire this knowledge quickly may also be considered. Max himself will mentor this project. [http://planet.octave.org/octconf2012/jit.pdf Here] is Max's OctConf 2012 presentation about his current implementation. See also [[JIT]].
== Improve memory management ==
== Implement classdef classes ==
Matlab has two kinds of classes: old style @classes and new style classdef. Octave has only fully implemented the old style. There is partial support for new classdef classes in version 4.0, refer to the [[http://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/shortlog/Classdef|classdef our classdef branchstatus page]]for what is not yet implemented. There is irregular work here, and classdef is [http://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/matlab_oop/method-attributes.html a very] [http://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/events-sending-and-responding-to-messages.html complicated] [http://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/enumeration-classes.html thing] to fully implement. A successful project would be to implement enough of classdef for most basic usages. Familiarity with Matlab's current classdef support would be a huge plus. Michael Goffioul and jwe can mentor this.
Although there's already a substantial classdef support in current octave code base, there are still many areas that are unimplemented or need improvements. The main ones that come to my mind are:
* support for events
* support for enums
* support for "import" (this requires good understanding of octave internals, especially he the symbol table)
* improving multiple inheritance and method resolution
* honoring and computing "Sealed" attribute
* On 'imagesc' plots, report the matrix values also based on the mouse position, updating on mouse moving.
 
* Create a "getframe" function that receives a a graphics handle and returns a 3D matrix from the graphics window associated with that handle.
* Add map-creating capabilities similar to the Matlab [http://www.mathworks.com/help/map/functionlist.html Mapping toolbox] for inclusion in the Octave Forge [https://sourceforge.net/p/octave/mapping mapping package].
=Configuration and Installation=
 
*Split config.h into a part for Octave-specific configuration things (this part can be installed) and the generic HAVE_X type of configure information that should not be installed.
*Makefile changes:
*Create a docs-only distribution?
*Better binary packaging and distribution, especially on Windows. *Octave Emacs mode needs maintenance. *<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 and On-Line Help=
 
*Document new features.
*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.
*The docs should mention something about efficiency and that using array operations is almost always a good idea for speed. *[[Doxygen ]] documentation for the C++ classes. *Make index entries more consistent to improve behavior of `help -i'. *Make `help -i' try to find a whole word match first.
*Clean up Make index entries more consistent to improve behavior of <code>help stuff-i</code>.
*Demo filesMake <code>help -i</code> try to find a whole word match first.
*Document C++ sources, to make it easier for newcomers to get into writing codeAdd more demo files.
*Flesh out this wiki
* Implement a coverage tool for collecting coverage data and generating code coverage reports on m-file functions and scripts. This would be very useful for Octave development as well as for users who want a code coverage report for their own functions and scripts.
We are far from even having one test for every function, so focus should be on getting the breadth of coverage first before trying to get the depth of 100% statement coverage. As of Jan 2014Dec 2015, 243 202 of 834 1020 m-files have no tests. Some of these will be plotting functions which have demos instead, but that leaves enough functions to be an interesting project. As of Dec 2015, there are 485 instances of C++ functions which need tests.
After Octave is compiled, running the {{Codeline|make check}} build target will run the full test suite and generate a file called test/fntests.log in the build directory with a summary of the results. At the end of the file is a list of all functions for which no tests were found. An extract is posted in the [[files missing tests]] page. If you are not building Octave yourself, the test suite can be run on an installed binary copy by executing the {{Codeline|__run_test_suite__}} command at the Octave prompt. The fntests.log file will be written in the current directory in this case.
There also need to be tests for functions written in the C++ files, . See [[Add_BIST_tests_for_octave_functions_written_in_C%2B%2B]] for instructions and that is a whole other projectlist of instances.
See also [[Continuous Build#Coverage Report]].
=Programming=
 
*Add support for listeners (addlistener, dellistener, etc) on the C++ side.
 
*C++ namespace for Octave library functions.
*Better error messages for missing operators?
*Use non-empty identifiers in all warnings and errors issued by Octave, see [[Easy projects#Miscellaneous]].
*Reduce the amount of datatypes in liboctave [[Project liboctave 4.2]]
=Miscellaneous=
*An interface to gdb. Michael Smolsky <fnsiguc@weizmann.weizmann.ac.il> wrote:
*:I was thinking about a tool, which could be very useful for me in my numerical simulation work. It is an interconnection between gdb and octave. We are often managing very large arrays of data in our fortran or c codes, which might be studied with the help of octave at the algorithm development stages. Assume you're coding, say, wave equation. And want to debug the code. It would be great to pick some array from the memory of the code you're developing, fft it and see the image as a log-log plot of the spectral density. I'm facing similar problems now. To avoid high c-development cost, I develop in matlab/octave, and then rewrite into c. It might be so much easier, if I could off-load a c array right from the debugger into octave, study it, and, perhaps, change some [many] values with a convenient matlab/octave syntax, similar to <code>a(:,5051:250)=zeros(100,200)</code>, and then store it back into the memory of my c code. *Implement gdb extensions for Octave types. Octave has the <code>etc/gdbinit</code> file, which has some basic support for displaying the contents of Octave types. Add more extensions to make it easier to debug octave_values and other Octave types.
*Add a definition to lgrind so that it supports Octave. (See http://www.tex.ac.uk/tex-archive/support/lgrind/ for more information about lgrind.)
=Marketing and Community=
*Make the Octave 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 /[[Project Infrastructure]] easier 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 softwaremaintain.
*Move [http://octave.sourceforge.net/ Octave-Forge] Make it easier for newcomers to [http://savannah.gnu.org/projects/octave/ Savannah] so everything is hosted in the same placecontribute.
*For marketing ideas, see the [httphttps://openoffice.apache.org/orientation/intro-marketing.html Apache Open Office Introduction to Marketing]
* Help design a user or a developer survey [httphttps://www.openoffice.org/marketing/ooocon2006/presentations/wednesday_c10.pdfdeveloper survey]
* Help prepare and deliver presentations about Octave at colleges and universities.
** [https://indico.cern.ch/event/626097/contributions/2902420/attachments/1615292/2566811/2018-03-12-octave.pdf Octave talk] at [[OctConf 2018]].
** "What is Octave?" [[File:Slides_octconf_gdf_jgh.pdf]] ([http://inversethought.com/hg/what-is-octave/ source]).
== Finish the Agora website Improve Windows binary packaging == 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. In response to this, a website started to form, [http://agora.octave.org/ Agora Octave]. This should be relatively easy webdev in Python using [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Django_%28web_framework%29 Django]. Things to be considered when working on this:
* We are currently able to build and provide a [[http://octave-forge.blogspotWindows Installer|installer for Windows]].ie/2012/08/octconf2012The build process involves cross-agora-and-pkg.html discussion compiling on a Linux system using a fork of Agora during OctConf2012]* the [http://scipy-centralmxe.orgcc/ Scipy CentralMXE] - a website with project to build Octave and all of its dependencies. Any ideas for improving this process to make it easier or faster, or to improve the installer itself or the same objective as Agora installation experience for Scipy. Their [https://github.com/scipy/SciPyCentral Code] is released under a BSD license. Might Windows users would be useful to reuse some partsappreciated.
Most '''Skills Required''': Knowledge of the basic functionality of Agora is already inGNU build systems, but there are many ways in which it could be improvedMakefiles, such as implementing comment threadsconfigure files, giving it an email interfacechasing library dependencies, or how to use a ReSTful API which could be used from Octave for package managementcompiler. See also No m-scripting or C++ necessary, beyond understanding [[Agora]http://david.rothlis.net/c/compilation_model/ the C++ compilation model]. Talk to [[User:JordiGH|Jordi]]
== Improve macOS binary packaging ==
We would like to be able to easily generate binary packages for Windows and Mac OS XmacOS. 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 do this in build a faster way binary package would be appreciated. Required knowledge is understanding how building binaries in Windows and Mac OS X macOS works. Our current approach to fixing this building binaries for Windows is to cross-compile from a GNU system using [http://mxe.cc/ MXE] or , 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].
 
=Performance=
*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.
=Packaging=
* get pkg to resolve dependencies automatically by downloading and installing them too
* allow to download and install multiple versions of the same package
* make the package just a bit more verbose by default(specifics?)* make pkg a little more like apt-get(what specific features of apt-get is this referring to?)
* make pkg support more than one src directory
** subdirectories with makefiles and top level make command of: cd <subdir> && ${MAKE}... ok as a substitute?
* make pkg able to supply extra configure and make flags, useful for distributions, including -j for make(pkg now passes --jobs=N automatically, CFLAGS and CXXFLAGS environment variables are already respected, what's missing?)
=Preferences=
=Bugs=
There is are always bugs to fix. The [httphttps://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=octave bug tracker] is a good place to find tasks needing a hand. See also [[Short projects#Bugs]].
= Matlab compatibility =
There are certain functions present in MATLAB known to be missing in Octave.
One list is provided on the source for function __unimplemented.m__, subfunction missing_functions; it can be edited in the Octave GUI or browsed at [http://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/file/d63878346099default/scripts/help/__unimplemented__.m#l530l547].
Lists are also kept for the [[Image package:Category:Missing functions|Image]], [[Mapping package|Mapping]], [[Optimization package|Optimization]], [[Signal package|Signalseveral packages]], and [[Statistics package|Statistics]] packages.
It is also possible to look at existing [[Wikipedia:Free and open-source software|FOSS]] implementations, from FreeMat and Scilab (for more closely compatible languages) to R or Scipy or Julia (for less compatible versions). Obviously, it is NOT OK to look at the Matlab implementation since this is not [[Wikipedia:Free software|free software]]!
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