Following the success of OctConf 2012 which brought together users and developers for five days in July in the French Canadian summer, the first european OctConf was be held in Milan, Italy on June 24-26 2013.
OctConf is a good opportunity to meet Octave developers and users from all over the world and discuss current and future directions of the Octave project.
Summary of activities
Opening keynote speaker: John W. Eaton
John (aka, jwe) gave us another update on GNU Octave's development in the last year. Things look good for Octave but we still need to improve the flow from users to contributors. The optimal way would be to get more core developers (i.e. people who update and improve the core of Octave's) however users can contribute in many ways, some ideas follow:
- Helping with the Wiki.
- Commenting on bugs/features in tracker.
- Maintaining/updating/contributing packages to Octave-Forge.
- Organizing events (talks, courses, etc.).
Finally, we discussed a lot about economic sustainability of the project. How can people make money using GNU Octave without damaging/endangering its freedom? Do you know business models that could fit? How can we organize a pool of developers to offer support for companies wanting to use GNU Octave?
As usual, and meant for the new comers, there was an overview of GNU Octave. This is an ongoing collaborative effort initiated by Jordi at OctConf 2012, it was modified and extended by Carlo who presented it in varios occations (including FEMTEC2013). The source of the presentation is available in a mercurial repository and is distributed under the CC-by-SA license. The sources for this presentation are available under a Creative Commons license for anybody who wants to use them. Get it here!
Octave in numerical methods courses
Paola Gervasio gave a presentation about how she and her colleagues (authors of several books)use Octave in their courses at the university. You cansee exmaples used for the classes and some interesting pedagogic techniques in the slides. Contact her if you have questions!
Teaching engineers with GNU Octave
Andreas Stahel from Biel, Switzerland gave a talk about teaching GNU Octave for Engineering. All his material (code, lecture notes, etc) is available for download, reuse, remix, reshare.
Martin Novak and Martin Balek, from NCLab, showcased their product and commented in the technology their are develping to have a fully functional GNU Octave server online. We hope this guys manage to earn they coins respecting the Free software community. Good luck!
LTFAT and Octave
Realtime sound processing with GNU Octave? It seems that the Czech-Danish team of LTFAT formed by Zdenek Prusa and Peter L. Søndergaard believes it is possible and are working towards it. We will hear (pun!) a lot from them in the coming months.
Apart from that, LTFAT provides an implementation of wavelets for GNU Octave.
FEM mash-up and Octave
S. Schöps showed a mash-up of proprietary and libre (FOSS) software to solve 3D coupled electromagnetic problems.
L Y.H., the student who will follow up the work of Max Brister, presented the difficulties with changes in LLVM and the JIT compiler for Octave. Apparently, a re-structuring of this part of Octave is imminent.
New sparse matrix format for Octave
Michele Martone presented his (soon to be released) Octave package for sparse matrices "sparsersb". The package enables Octave users to transparently use the "librsb" multithreaded sparse matrix library from Octave, gaining performance in the application of sparse matrix-vector multiplication operations on large matrices (e.g.: when applying iterative methods). Early testing efforts are very welcome. Code and information is already available on  .
GSoC project: Incomplete factorization
In future releases incomplete LU- and Cholesky-factorizations will be part of Octave. In a short presentation one of this years Google Summer of Code students Kai T. Ohlhus talked about the project progress.
Spectral Variational Integrators
This project may take off with the acceptance of Octave into the ESA summer of code in Space. Very interestign for people working in Mechanics and Control.
Hardware and Octave
The Octave-Forge Instrument control package allows to interface Octave with hardware. Juan Pablo Carbajal gave a very short demo on how to do serial communication with the Dwengo board. Here are the details, watch the video.
Hosting Institution and Local Sponsors
The meeting was held on the 7th floor of Building 14 ("La Nave") of the "Leonardo" campus of Politecnico di Milano in the Department meeting room.
Milan is one of the most art and history rich cities in Italy, and it is within 100 miles of all the most beautiful locations in northern Italy including the Alps, the Mediterranean Sea and the lake region. With new high speed train connections it is also about 2 and a half hours away from Rome. There are 3 international airports in Milan all served by Low-Cost companies that offer cheap flights to/from most cities in Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East.
Summer in Milano can be quite hot and humid but rain is very rare. The city has a very serviceable public transportation network of buses and underground trains (metro), there is also a public bike rental service but none of the bike rental stations is located conveniently enough to serve the Politecnico campus at this time yet.
How to get there
The reference is:
MOX - Modeling and Scientific Computing Dipartimento di Matematica "F. Brioschi" Politecnico di Milano via Bonardi 9 Edificio 14 ("La Nave")
June 24-26, 2013. Each day will be focusing on a specific topic
- Day 1 : Octave in Education
- Day 2 : Octave in Academic Research
- Day 3 : Octave in Engineering Applications
The registration procedure has now been moved here The complete list of participants will be published here after the conference.
Octave developers attending
Note: putting your name down in this list is not a valid form of registration. This is only to announce others that you'll be attending.
There is limited funding to cover the travel expenses of selected participants.