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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 [http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/doc/interpreter/Contributing-Guidelines.html#Contributing-Guidelines Contributing Guidelines chapter] in the [http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/doc/interpreter/ Octave manual].
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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]].
    
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.
 
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.
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*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)
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*Use pairwise addition in sum() to mitigate against numerical errors without substantial performance penalty (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pairwise_summation).
 +
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*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.
 
*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.
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*Add optional arguments to colloc so that it's not restricted to Legendre polynomials.
 
*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.
 
*Move rand, eye, xpow, xdiv, etc., functions to the matrix classes.
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== Matlab-compatible ODE solvers in core-Octave ==
 
== Matlab-compatible ODE solvers in core-Octave ==
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* 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.
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* <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>
* Adapt the interface of "ode45" in odepkg to be completely Matlab compatible, fix its code and documentation style and move it to Octave-core.
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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>
* 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.
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* <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>
 
* Implement Matlab compatible versions of "deval".
 
* Implement Matlab compatible versions of "deval".
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**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).
 
**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).
 
**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).
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* Create a better (G)UI for the {{manual|profile|profiler}}. This may be done with Qt, but not necessarily.
 
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== Implement a Qt widget for manipulating plots ==
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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.
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[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.
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== Create a better (G)UI for the profiler ==
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  −
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) ==
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== Sisotool. Create a graphical design tool for tuning closed loop control system ([[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.
 
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.
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Recently, some implementation was done during [[Summer_of_Code#GSoC_2018|GSoC 2018]], see https://eriveltongualter.github.io/GSoC2018/final.html for details.
    
=Sparse Matrices=
 
=Sparse Matrices=
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*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 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
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*Implement fourth argument to the sprand and sprandn, and addition arguments to sprandsym that the leading brand implements.
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*Improve Matlab compatibility for {{manual|sprandsym}}.
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*Sparse logical indexing in idx_vector class so that something like 'a=sprandn(1e6,1e6,1e-6); a(a<1) = 0' won't cause a memory overflow.
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*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
 
*Other missing Functions
**<strike>symmmd</strike> (Superseded by symamd)
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**<strike>colmmd</strike> (Superseded by colamd)
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**<strike>cholinc (or ichol)</strike>
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**<strike>luinc (or ilu)</strike>
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**<strike>bicg</strike> Moved into octave-core
  −
**<strike>gmres</strike>Moved into octave-core
   
**lsqr
 
**lsqr
 
**minres
 
**minres
**qmr (see [https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/?8569 Savannah Patch Tracker])
   
**symmlq
 
**symmlq
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   if (expr) 'this is a string' end
 
   if (expr) 'this is a string' end
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is parsed as IF expr STRING END. ''(see [https://mailman.cae.wisc.edu/pipermail/octave-maintainers/2014-March/039554.html this] post on the mailing list)''
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is parsed as IF expr STRING END. ''(see [https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/octave-maintainers/2014-03/msg00087.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).
 
*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).
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*Too much time is spent allocating and freeing memory. What can be done to improve performance?
 
*Too much time is spent allocating and freeing memory. What can be done to improve performance?
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  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.
 
*Error output from Fortran code is ugly. Something should be done to make it look better.
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* On 'imagesc' plots, report the matrix values also based on the mouse position, updating on mouse moving.
 
* On 'imagesc' plots, report the matrix values also based on the mouse position, updating on mouse moving.
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* 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].
 
* 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].
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=Configuration and Installation=
 
=Configuration and Installation=
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*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:
 
*Makefile changes:
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*Create a docs-only distribution?
 
*Create a docs-only distribution?
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*Better binary packaging and distribution, especially on Windows.
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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.
 
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*Octave Emacs mode needs maintenance.
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*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.
      
=Documentation and On-Line Help=
 
=Documentation and On-Line Help=
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*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.
 
*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.
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*The docs should mention something about efficiency and that using array operations is almost always a good idea for speed.
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*[[Doxygen]] documentation for the C++ classes.
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*Doxygen documentation for the C++ classes.
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*Make index entries more consistent to improve behavior of <code>help -i</code>.
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*Make index entries more consistent to improve behavior of `help -i'.
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*Make <code>help -i</code> try to find a whole word match first.
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*Make `help -i' try to find a whole word match first.
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*Add more demo files.
 
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*Clean up help stuff.
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*Demo files.
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*Document C++ sources, to make it easier for newcomers to get into writing code.
      
*Flesh out this wiki
 
*Flesh out this wiki
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=Programming=
 
=Programming=
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*Add support for listeners (addlistener, dellistener, etc) on the C++ side.
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*C++ namespace for Octave library functions.
      
*Better error messages for missing operators?
 
*Better error messages for missing operators?
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*Use non-empty identifiers in all warnings and errors issued by Octave, see [[Easy projects#Miscellaneous]].
 
*Use non-empty identifiers in all warnings and errors issued by Octave, see [[Easy projects#Miscellaneous]].
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*Reduce the amount of datatypes in liboctave [[Project liboctave 4.2]]
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*Reduce the amount of datatypes in liboctave.
    
=Miscellaneous=
 
=Miscellaneous=
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*An interface to gdb. Michael Smolsky <fnsiguc@weizmann.weizmann.ac.il> wrote:
 
*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(:,50:250)=zeros(100,200)</code>, and then store it back into the memory of my c code.
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*: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(:,51:250)=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.
 
*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.
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=Marketing and Community=
 
=Marketing and Community=
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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.
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* Make the Octave website/[[Project Infrastructure]] easier to maintain.
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** 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.
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* Make it easier for newcomers to contribute.
** ScipyCentral, http://scipy-central.org/ has all the features we need and is also free software.  
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*Move [http://octave.sourceforge.net/ Octave-Forge] to [http://savannah.gnu.org/projects/octave/ Savannah] so everything is hosted in the same place.
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* For marketing ideas, see the [https://openoffice.apache.org/orientation/intro-marketing.html Apache Open Office Introduction to Marketing]
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*For ideas, see the [http://openoffice.apache.org/orientation/intro-marketing.html Apache Open Office Introduction to Marketing]
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* Help design a user or a [https://www.openoffice.org/marketing/ooocon2006/presentations/wednesday_c10.pdf developer survey]
 
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* 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.
 
* Help prepare and deliver presentations about Octave at colleges and universities.
 
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** [https://indico.cern.ch/event/626097/contributions/2902420/attachments/1615292/2566811/2018-03-12-octave.pdf Octave talk] at [[OctConf 2018]].
== Finish the Agora website ==
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** "What is Octave?" [[File:Slides_octconf_gdf_jgh.pdf]] ([http://inversethought.com/hg/what-is-octave/ source]).
 
  −
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.
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In response to this, a website started to form, [http://agora.octave.org/ Agora Octave].
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This should be relatively easy webdev in Python using [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Django_%28web_framework%29 Django].
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Things to be considered when working on this:
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* [http://octave-forge.blogspot.ie/2012/08/octconf2012-agora-and-pkg.html discussion of Agora during OctConf2012]
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* [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.
  −
 
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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 Mac OS X binary packaging ==
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== Improve macOS binary packaging ==
   −
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]?).
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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]?).
    
'''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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=Bugs=
 
=Bugs=
   −
There is always bugs to fix. The [http://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=octave bug tracker] is a good place to find tasks needing a hand. See also [[Short projects#Bugs]].
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There are always bugs to fix. The [https://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 =
 
= Matlab compatibility =
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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/default/scripts/help/__unimplemented__.m#l547].
 
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/default/scripts/help/__unimplemented__.m#l547].
   −
Lists are also kept for the [[Image package|Image]], [[Mapping package|Mapping]], [[Optimization package|Optimization]], [[Signal package|Signal]], and [[Statistics package|Statistics]] packages.
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Lists are also kept for [[:Category:Missing functions|several 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]]!
 
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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