Online Developer Meeting (2021-08-24)

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Todays topics

  • Meet and greet 5 minutes before meeting (audio testing).

First topic to discuss

Previous topics

The following items were not discussed. Just some links to progress on those items are displayed.

Octave 6.3 released

  • No "official" announcement happened. Maybe reuse abandoned mailing-lists to announce important events, such as releases.
  • How do distribution maintainers get to know about Octave releases?
    • Contact Debian maintainers of the Octave package to maybe improve our communication (Kai).

Octave 6.4 / 7 / 8

  • Discussion how to continue with the development.
    • jwe wants to introduce breaking changes (see below).
  • Octave should stick with the ~yearly major release cycle
    • Probably no Octave 6.4 (only if severe bugs occur).
    • Octave 7 (default branch)
      • Should no longer receive "very" breaking changes (e.g. String-class for Octave 8)
      • Has about 305 bugs fixed (not 100% reliable figure) and should not wait another year until many bigger outstanding changes happen (will be deferred to Octave 8)
      • Tentative plan:
        • November 2021 merge default to stable.
        • End of 2021 release of Octave 7
    • Octave 8 (new default branch)
      • No clear decision how to handle very breaking changes until November 2021 merge default to stable. Depends on future needs.

Octave 7 / 8

  • Function argument parsing (introduced in Matlab R2019b, rather new)
    • jwe will continue to work on this feature on Octave 7 (default branch)
    • If feature cannot be completed by the end of the year, it will be disabled on parser-level (error), and introduced in Octave 8 one year later.
  • New GUI command widget
    • Possible to introduce it as user opt-in in Octave 7
    • Pending issues:
      • Command-widget does not look like the previous one (textbox for command input)
      • jwe needs better looking widget (avoid developing a new one)
      • No possibility to run external applications (like emacs, pager), which is already partially broken now. Need to implement own paging strategy (scroll bars, etc.)
  • Deprecation of Octave operators
    • Improve Matlab compatibility
    • Some extensions make it painful to implement Matlab compatible command-style function calls? (some clarification needed)
      • Remove rarely used extensions like "**" power.
      • Discussion about removal of "+=", "++", etc. No final decision made.
      • Often used extensions like "!" == "~" must probably stay.

C++ shared pointer / liboctave

  • jwe had a look at Octave own reference counting
  • Wish to replace it with C++ shared pointers
  • Expert knowledge wanted!
    • jwe will reach out on Discourse about the exact problems.
  • jwe identified "copy expensive" inefficiency about mxArray to octave_value conversion? (some clarification needed)
    • Root of the trouble lies in historical handling of complex data?? (some clarification needed)

See also