Contribution to Octave as a PM

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Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM

fgnievinski
Juan Pablo Carbajal-2 wrote
On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 3:12 PM, fgnievinski <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Another contribution related to your project management skills could be
> finding ways of facilitating the delegation of tasks.  The current situation
> is such that existing developers are super busy, while aspirant contributors
> soon give up if the open projects look daunting or unclear.  Here's a
> practical remedy idea: take some of the donated money and offer symbolic
> direct bounties (e.g., 2 cents) for tasks that would be considered trivial
> for experienced developers, such as bug triage, easy fixes, etc.  I know,
> the idea might be bad -- I'm just brainstorming here.
> -F.
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/Contribution-to-Octave-as-a-PM-tp4661600p4661671.html
> Sent from the Octave - Maintainers mailing list archive at Nabble.com.

Ok, sounds liek a thing to try. Now how would you implement any idea
that requieres Octave transferring money to developers? I am not sure
that is possible. for sure one could do it on a personal basis,
somebody send money to somebody else.
- What would be the initial money needed to test one of these ideas?
(we can collect this form the current user pool) and How do calculate
such things?
- What platform one could use to provide this? Does FSF has anythgin
we can use or we would have to set up a website (more dev time!)?
- Can we use Agora for this? (this would be awesome) How, who can
provide the dev time?
There are the likes of <bugcrowd.com> and <bountysource.com>.
Sure, they don't provide their portal's source code, and they
might call your libre software, open source.  But hey, that's
exactly the case with GSoC...
-F.
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Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM

Carnë Draug
On 5 February 2014 14:59, fgnievinski <[hidden email]> wrote:
> There are the likes of <bugcrowd.com> and <bountysource.com>.
> Sure, they don't provide their portal's source code, and they
> might call your libre software, open source.  But hey, that's
> exactly the case with GSoC...

I guess you mean melange [1]

Carnë

[1] http://code.google.com/p/soc/
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Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM

Philip Nienhuis
In reply to this post by Julien Hamilton
Please don't top post. Answer below the mail:

Julien Hamilton wrote
On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 8:28 AM, Juan Pablo Carbajal
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 2:24 PM, Julien Hamilton
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Hi Juan,
> >
> > I agree it should not be all about the money. I was just giving an
> example
> > where libre software can be created by paid developments.
> >
> > My idea here is to help to make Octave a little bit more popular and
> > attractive to contributors, and not to go against GNU principles.
> >
> > JH
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 8:20 AM, Juan Pablo Carbajal <
> [hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 2:09 PM, fgnievinski <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >> > Agreed; we could borrow from AOO:
> >> > <http://www.openoffice.org/why/>
> >> > "Great software; Easy to use; and it's free!"
> >> > -F.
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 6:33 AM, CdeMills [via Octave] <[hidden email]>
> >> > wrote:
> >> >>
> >> >> The opensource ecosystem is vast and diversified.
> >> >>
> >> >> On the one hand, you're right that Octave could benefit from funding.
> >> >> OTOH, promoting Octave as the-poor-man  MatLab does not seems
> adaquate
> >> >> to
> >> >> me. At first, we will appear as a MatLab concurrent, and as so will
> >> >> become a
> >> >> "target" for actions. Second, when I see students from countries
> where
> >> >> copyright laws are less enforced, they all have crackeds version of
> >> >> you-just-name-it. They prefer to use some MatLab of dubious ancestry
> >> >> because
> >> >> "it is standard". They mean it both ways: everybody write and diffuse
> >> >> code
> >> >> in THIS language, and everybody crack it.
> >> >>
> >> >> I thus conclude that "money" should not be the only argument; we
> should
> >> >> agree on other metrics to promote actions around Octave.
> >> >>
> >> >> Regards
> >> >>
> >> >> ________________________________
> >> >> If you reply to this email, your message will be added to the
> >> >> discussion
> >> >> below:
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >>
> http://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/Contribution-to-Octave-as-a-PM-tp4661600p4661634.html
> >> >> To unsubscribe from Contribution to Octave as a PM, click here.
> >> >> NAML
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > ________________________________
> >> > View this message in context: Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM
> >> >
> >> > Sent from the Octave - Maintainers mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> >>
> >> I do not think this is exactly the message we want to highlight
> >> "and it's free
> >> Best of all, Apache OpenOffice can be downloaded and used entirely
> >> free of any license fees."
> >>
> >> It is not best of all, it is a consequence of the other values we are
> >> trying to promote: freedom.
> >> I would not even highlight this point but the other advantages of
> >> libre software.
> >> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html
> >
> >
>
> Julien,
> Sure, and is great that people with your background join in. I fully
> support your initiative. but I think is important to highlight this
> little details earlier better than later.
>
> It would be awesome if at some point we could organize an Octave
> contest...with prizes! :D
>
Haha why not Juan!

Yes it's always a challenge when you want to improve a software, making it
more "corporate", but with staying with the basic principles. I was
thinking about the fact that Octave offers functions to connect to the
nonfree software Microsoft Excel.
What exactly do you mean by that?

Philip
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Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM

Julien Hamilton

On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 4:38 PM, Philip Nienhuis <[hidden email]> wrote:
Please don't top post. Answer below the mail:


Julien Hamilton wrote
> On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 8:28 AM, Juan Pablo Carbajal
> &lt;

> ajuanpi+dev@

> &gt;wrote:
>
>> On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 2:24 PM, Julien Hamilton
>> &lt;

> julien.hamilton@

> &gt; wrote:
>> > Hi Juan,
>> >
>> > I agree it should not be all about the money. I was just giving an
>> example
>> > where libre software can be created by paid developments.
>> >
>> > My idea here is to help to make Octave a little bit more popular and
>> > attractive to contributors, and not to go against GNU principles.
>> >
>> > JH
>> >
>> >
>> > On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 8:20 AM, Juan Pablo Carbajal <
>>

> ajuanpi+dev@

>>
>> > wrote:
>> >>
>> >> On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 2:09 PM, fgnievinski &lt;

> fgnievinski@

> &gt;
>> wrote:
>> >> > Agreed; we could borrow from AOO:
>> >> > &lt;http://www.openoffice.org/why/&gt;
>> >> > "Great software; Easy to use; and it's free!"
>> >> > -F.
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> > On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 6:33 AM, CdeMills [via Octave] <[hidden
>> email]>
>> >> > wrote:
>> >> >>
>> >> >> The opensource ecosystem is vast and diversified.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> On the one hand, you're right that Octave could benefit from
>> funding.
>> >> >> OTOH, promoting Octave as the-poor-man  MatLab does not seems
>> adaquate
>> >> >> to
>> >> >> me. At first, we will appear as a MatLab concurrent, and as so will
>> >> >> become a
>> >> >> "target" for actions. Second, when I see students from countries
>> where
>> >> >> copyright laws are less enforced, they all have crackeds version of
>> >> >> you-just-name-it. They prefer to use some MatLab of dubious
>> ancestry
>> >> >> because
>> >> >> "it is standard". They mean it both ways: everybody write and
>> diffuse
>> >> >> code
>> >> >> in THIS language, and everybody crack it.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> I thus conclude that "money" should not be the only argument; we
>> should
>> >> >> agree on other metrics to promote actions around Octave.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> Regards
>> >> >>
>> >> >> ________________________________
>> >> >> If you reply to this email, your message will be added to the
>> >> >> discussion
>> >> >> below:
>> >> >>
>> >> >>
>> >> >>
>> http://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/Contribution-to-Octave-as-a-PM-tp4661600p4661634.html
>> >> >> To unsubscribe from Contribution to Octave as a PM, click here.
>> >> >> NAML
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> > ________________________________
>> >> > View this message in context: Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM
>> >> >
>> >> > Sent from the Octave - Maintainers mailing list archive at
>> Nabble.com.
>> >>
>> >> I do not think this is exactly the message we want to highlight
>> >> "and it's free
>> >> Best of all, Apache OpenOffice can be downloaded and used entirely
>> >> free of any license fees."
>> >>
>> >> It is not best of all, it is a consequence of the other values we are
>> >> trying to promote: freedom.
>> >> I would not even highlight this point but the other advantages of
>> >> libre software.
>> >> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html
>> >
>> >
>>
>> Julien,
>> Sure, and is great that people with your background join in. I fully
>> support your initiative. but I think is important to highlight this
>> little details earlier better than later.
>>
>> It would be awesome if at some point we could organize an Octave
>> contest...with prizes! :D
>>
> Haha why not Juan!
>
> Yes it's always a challenge when you want to improve a software, making it
> more "corporate", but with staying with the basic principles. I was
> thinking about the fact that Octave offers functions to connect to the
> nonfree software Microsoft Excel.

What exactly do you mean by that?

Philip


Hi Philip,

I mean that according to the free software mouvement we should avoid using *any* nonfree software. The fact that Octave offers an interface to Excel can be see by some people as a contradiction to this principle. Don't you think?

JH

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Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM

Julien Hamilton
In reply to this post by Juan Pablo Carbajal-2
On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 9:11 AM, Juan Pablo Carbajal <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 3:00 PM, Richard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 03/02/2014 22:14, Julien Hamilton wrote:
>>
>> Dear Octave Contributors,
>>
>
> <snip>
>
>
>>
>> I would be happy if you guys think that my profile can contribute to the
>> success of Octave.
>>
>>
>>
>> Best Regards,
>>
>> Julien Hamilton
>>
>
> Someone organising the main octave website, including possibly a redesign of
> it (don't get me wrong, it's ok, but not a patch on the slick efforts of,
> for example, SciLab, or http://www.python.org/) would in my option be a
> major aid to Octave.
>
> Similarly someone managing releases, and ensuring all information was being
> updated everywhere simultaneously on a release, and perhaps organising
> promotion of the release, would in my opinion help the project. It would
> also free up some core developer time from these important but non-coding
> tasks.
>
> Just my two cents,
> Richard Crozier
>
> --
> The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
> Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
>

All good ideas! So how do you plan to implement those? Go a head and
do a proof of concept aplication/website/mailing list... I am not sure
how you would handle this. Also, make sure you will be able to put
some of your time till things get rolling.


Yes we should go step by step and here is what I propose:

1. Redesign the list of Octave projects with something more dynamic:
I already have some ideas but I will do some research. Then I will propose to you guys a basic proof of concept that will be the starting point for discussions, comments, etc, to be sure that it matches your developer's needs. My goal is to use only free & open source products and something simple (no large and complex project management system). I think it will be more like a list of tasks with priorities, difficulties, progess, etc.
I will also include a roadmap of the releases.

2. Redesign of the website:
The goal here is to propose a new design of the Octave's website. Here again we will start with a proof of concept. I understand your concerns about a "corporate" website and the spirit of free software. That's why it will be important to have open discussions before and during the proof of concept. I'm not a web developer but I'm sure we can find someone would will be happy to contribute and help us.


Later we can discuss the other points ("marketing" presentations, bounties, etc). Again, I understand that these points must follow the Octave spirit and the free software principles.

What do you guys think?

JH

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Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM

Juan Pablo Carbajal-2
On Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 2:28 PM, Julien Hamilton
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 9:11 AM, Juan Pablo Carbajal <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>>
>> On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 3:00 PM, Richard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > On 03/02/2014 22:14, Julien Hamilton wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Dear Octave Contributors,
>> >>
>> >
>> > <snip>
>> >
>> >
>> >>
>> >> I would be happy if you guys think that my profile can contribute to
>> >> the
>> >> success of Octave.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Best Regards,
>> >>
>> >> Julien Hamilton
>> >>
>> >
>> > Someone organising the main octave website, including possibly a
>> > redesign of
>> > it (don't get me wrong, it's ok, but not a patch on the slick efforts
>> > of,
>> > for example, SciLab, or http://www.python.org/) would in my option be a
>> > major aid to Octave.
>> >
>> > Similarly someone managing releases, and ensuring all information was
>> > being
>> > updated everywhere simultaneously on a release, and perhaps organising
>> > promotion of the release, would in my opinion help the project. It would
>> > also free up some core developer time from these important but
>> > non-coding
>> > tasks.
>> >
>> > Just my two cents,
>> > Richard Crozier
>> >
>> > --
>> > The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
>> > Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
>> >
>>
>> All good ideas! So how do you plan to implement those? Go a head and
>> do a proof of concept aplication/website/mailing list... I am not sure
>> how you would handle this. Also, make sure you will be able to put
>> some of your time till things get rolling.
>
>
>
> Yes we should go step by step and here is what I propose:
>
> 1. Redesign the list of Octave projects with something more dynamic:
> I already have some ideas but I will do some research. Then I will propose
> to you guys a basic proof of concept that will be the starting point for
> discussions, comments, etc, to be sure that it matches your developer's
> needs. My goal is to use only free & open source products and something
> simple (no large and complex project management system). I think it will be
> more like a list of tasks with priorities, difficulties, progess, etc.
> I will also include a roadmap of the releases.
>
Make sure you consult JordiGH and John (jwe) about this (IRC maybe
best place for quick feedback). they might reach to FSF to know what
options can be installed in their servers. Basically one needs a
improved version of savannah.

> 2. Redesign of the website:
> The goal here is to propose a new design of the Octave's website. Here again
> we will start with a proof of concept. I understand your concerns about a
> "corporate" website and the spirit of free software. That's why it will be
> important to have open discussions before and during the proof of concept.
> I'm not a web developer but I'm sure we can find someone would will be happy
> to contribute and help us.
>
Please do take Agora into account for this. You should try Agora out
and see if you come with new ideas about it. It is mainly inspired by
the functionalities in the StackExchange sites, that sadly are not
libre.
Also note that there are 2 websites, GNU Octave  and Octave Forge. The
second one may be needing more urgent attention than the first one.
You should contact carandraug on this matter (also on IRC).

>
> Later we can discuss the other points ("marketing" presentations, bounties,
> etc). Again, I understand that these points must follow the Octave spirit
> and the free software principles.
>
> What do you guys think?
>
> JH
>
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Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
In reply to this post by Julien Hamilton
On Thu, 2014-02-06 at 08:28 -0500, Julien Hamilton wrote:
 
> 2. Redesign of the website:

By the way, don't forget Wendy's redesign:

    http://octave.dellsystem.me/

I haven't rolled this out yet because I was hoping to do it once the
GUI was stable enough to be recommended to everyone.

- Jordi G. H.


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Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM

Markus
In reply to this post by Julien Hamilton
Am 2014-02-06 13:55, schrieb Julien Hamilton:

> On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 4:38 PM, Philip Nienhuis
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Please don't top post. Answer below the mail:
>>
>> Julien Hamilton wrote
>>
>>> On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 8:28 AM, Juan Pablo Carbajal
>>> &lt;
>>
>>> ajuanpi+dev@
>>
>>> &gt;wrote:
>>
>>>
>>>> On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 2:24 PM, Julien Hamilton
>>>> &lt;
>>
>>> julien.hamilton@
>>
>>> &gt; wrote:
>>>> > Hi Juan,
>>>> >
>>>> > I agree it should not be all about the money. I was just
>> giving an
>>>> example
>>>> > where libre software can be created by paid developments.
>>>> >
>>>> > My idea here is to help to make Octave a little bit more
>> popular and
>>>> > attractive to contributors, and not to go against GNU
>> principles.
>>>> >
>>>> > JH
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> > On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 8:20 AM, Juan Pablo Carbajal <
>>>>
>>
>>> ajuanpi+dev@
>>
>>>>
>>>> > wrote:
>>>> >>
>>>> >> On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 2:09 PM, fgnievinski &lt;
>>
>>> fgnievinski@
>>
>>> &gt;
>>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> >> > Agreed; we could borrow from AOO:
>>>> >> > &lt;http://www.openoffice.org/why/&gt [1];
>>
>>>>>> > "Great software; Easy to use; and it's free!"
>>>> >> > -F.
>>>> >> >
>>>> >> >
>>>> >> > On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 6:33 AM, CdeMills [via Octave]
>> <[hidden
>>>> email]>
>>>> >> > wrote:
>>>> >> >>
>>>> >> >> The opensource ecosystem is vast and diversified.
>>>> >> >>
>>>> >> >> On the one hand, you're right that Octave could benefit
>> from
>>>> funding.
>>>> >> >> OTOH, promoting Octave as the-poor-man  MatLab does not
>> seems
>>>> adaquate
>>>> >> >> to
>>>> >> >> me. At first, we will appear as a MatLab concurrent, and
>> as so will
>>>> >> >> become a
>>>> >> >> "target" for actions. Second, when I see students from
>> countries
>>>> where
>>>> >> >> copyright laws are less enforced, they all have crackeds
>> version of
>>>> >> >> you-just-name-it. They prefer to use some MatLab of
>> dubious
>>>> ancestry
>>>> >> >> because
>>>> >> >> "it is standard". They mean it both ways: everybody write
>> and
>>>> diffuse
>>>> >> >> code
>>>> >> >> in THIS language, and everybody crack it.
>>>> >> >>
>>>> >> >> I thus conclude that "money" should not be the only
>> argument; we
>>>> should
>>>> >> >> agree on other metrics to promote actions around Octave.
>>>> >> >>
>>>> >> >> Regards
>>>> >> >>
>>>> >> >> ________________________________
>>>> >> >> If you reply to this email, your message will be added to
>> the
>>>> >> >> discussion
>>>> >> >> below:
>>>> >> >>
>>>> >> >>
>>>> >> >>
>>>>
>>
> http://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/Contribution-to-Octave-as-a-PM-tp4661600p4661634.html
>> [2]
>>>> >> >> To unsubscribe from Contribution to Octave as a PM, click
>> here.
>>>> >> >> NAML
>>>> >> >
>>>> >> >
>>>> >> >
>>>> >> > ________________________________
>>>> >> > View this message in context: Re: Contribution to Octave as
>> a PM
>>>> >> >
>>>> >> > Sent from the Octave - Maintainers mailing list archive at
>>>> Nabble.com.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> I do not think this is exactly the message we want to
>> highlight
>>>> >> "and it's free
>>>> >> Best of all, Apache OpenOffice can be downloaded and used
>> entirely
>>>> >> free of any license fees."
>>>> >>
>>>> >> It is not best of all, it is a consequence of the other
>> values we are
>>>> >> trying to promote: freedom.
>>>> >> I would not even highlight this point but the other
>> advantages of
>>>> >> libre software.
>>>> >>
>> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html [3]
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>>
>>>> Julien,
>>>> Sure, and is great that people with your background join in. I
>> fully
>>>> support your initiative. but I think is important to highlight
>> this
>>>> little details earlier better than later.
>>>>
>>>> It would be awesome if at some point we could organize an Octave
>>>> contest...with prizes! :D
>>>>
>>
>>> Haha why not Juan!
>>>
>>> Yes it's always a challenge when you want to improve a software,
>> making it
>>> more "corporate", but with staying with the basic principles. I
>> was
>>> thinking about the fact that Octave offers functions to connect
>> to the
>>> nonfree software Microsoft Excel.
>>
>> What exactly do you mean by that?
>>
>> Philip
>
> Hi Philip,
>
> I mean that according to the free software mouvement we should avoid
> using *any* nonfree software. The fact that Octave offers an interface
> to Excel can be see by some people as a contradiction to this
> principle. Don't you think?
>

OOXML (.xlsx) is an open standard (ISO/IEC 29500, ECMA-376). Strictly
speaking, Excel is just a "proparitary editor" for an "open standard".
Furthermore, xlsread is needed to be code compatible with Matlab.

Markus

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Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM

Richard Crozier
In reply to this post by Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
On 06/02/2014 15:24, Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:

> On Thu, 2014-02-06 at 08:28 -0500, Julien Hamilton wrote:
>
>> 2. Redesign of the website:
>
> By the way, don't forget Wendy's redesign:
>
>      http://octave.dellsystem.me/
>
> I haven't rolled this out yet because I was hoping to do it once the
> GUI was stable enough to be recommended to everyone.
>
> - Jordi G. H.
>
>
>

Aaaah, well that looks pretty slick.

Richard

--
The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM

Markus Appel
In reply to this post by Juan Pablo Carbajal-2
On 02/05/2014 03:21 PM, Juan Pablo Carbajal wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 3:12 PM, fgnievinski <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Another contribution related to your project management skills could be
>> finding ways of facilitating the delegation of tasks.  The current situation
>> is such that existing developers are super busy, while aspirant contributors
>> soon give up if the open projects look daunting or unclear.  Here's a
>> practical remedy idea: take some of the donated money and offer symbolic
>> direct bounties (e.g., 2 cents) for tasks that would be considered trivial
>> for experienced developers, such as bug triage, easy fixes, etc.  I know,
>> the idea might be bad -- I'm just brainstorming here.
>> -F.
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> View this message in context: http://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/Contribution-to-Octave-as-a-PM-tp4661600p4661671.html
>> Sent from the Octave - Maintainers mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> Ok, sounds liek a thing to try. Now how would you implement any idea
> that requieres Octave transferring money to developers? I am not sure
> that is possible. for sure one could do it on a personal basis,
> somebody send money to somebody else.
> - What would be the initial money needed to test one of these ideas?
> (we can collect this form the current user pool) and How do calculate
> such things?
> - What platform one could use to provide this? Does FSF has anythgin
> we can use or we would have to set up a website (more dev time!)?
> - Can we use Agora for this? (this would be awesome) How, who can
> provide the dev time?
Being myself on the verge of wanting to increasingly contribute to
octave as a developer, I think the idea of an organized and maintained
list of well defined tasks "for beginners" is a great idea. If someone
solves a task and it gets marked as 'solved by John Doe' on that
centralized list, the reward of seeing your name there as new
contributor should be enough as "symbolic bounty" and worth far more
than an actual money transfer which probably comes with a higher
organizational overhead.

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Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM

John W. Eaton
Administrator
In reply to this post by Markus
On 02/06/2014 10:34 AM, Markus wrote:

> Furthermore, xlsread is needed to be code compatible with Matlab.

Implementing the xlsread function with free software tools is OK.

Requiring Excel to do that job is not.

jwe

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Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM

Nir Krakauer-2
In reply to this post by Markus Appel
Being myself on the verge of wanting to increasingly contribute to
octave as a developer, I think the idea of an organized and maintained
list of well defined tasks "for beginners" is a great idea. If someone
solves a task and it gets marked as 'solved by John Doe' on that
centralized list, the reward of seeing your name there as new
contributor should be enough as "symbolic bounty" and worth far more
than an actual money transfer which probably comes with a higher
organizational overhead.

Maybe you can help expand http://wiki.octave.org/Short_projects 

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Re: Contribution to Octave as a PM

PhilipNienhuis
In reply to this post by Julien Hamilton
Julien,

Julien Hamilton wrote:
>
> On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 4:38 PM, Philip Nienhuis <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:

<snip>

>      > Yes it's always a challenge when you want to improve a software,
>     making it
>      > more "corporate", but with staying with the basic principles. I was
>      > thinking about the fact that Octave offers functions to connect
>     to the
>      > nonfree software Microsoft Excel.
>
>     What exactly do you mean by that?
>
>     Philip
>
>
> Hi Philip,
>
> I mean that according to the free software mouvement we should avoid
> using *any* nonfree software. The fact that Octave offers an interface
> to Excel can be see by some people as a contradiction to this principle.
> Don't you think?

(Your counter question could be more precise :-) )
- Sure I agree that some people think so; I can even follow their
reasoning. It *is* somewhat contradictory, but only w.r.t. to that
alleged aim of "the free software movement". However:
- No, I agree only partly with that opinion or aim. While sympathetic,
it's simply impractical for many users.

To me, "free" is also about freedom to choose what software or
combinations of software to use.
Or would you think are we more free if we are limited to only <fill in
your favorite definition of "free" here> software?  *That* would sound
contradictory to me....
IMO it is up to users to decide what to use, and not to me or anyone
else to limit or take away other people's *legal* choices and options.

After all, not even the GPL forbids to *run* a mix of proprietary and
"free" software - it limits *distribution* of such a mix.
Excel (at least my old 97 version) doesn't come with a ban to use it in
combination with free SW.

AFAICS Octave is legally at the right side here - it doesn't mix free
and nonfree SW, nor is it dependent on the latter. The ActiveX stuff
used for the Excel interface can be used to interface to LibreOffice as
well (I have that working here).
That "some people" think something there is still *morally* wrong - to
me that's an opinion that I respect and value. No more, no less.

Philip
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IO package and Excel

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
On Thu, 2014-02-06 at 21:02 +0100, Philip Nienhuis wrote:

> To me, "free" is also about freedom to choose what software or
> combinations of software to use.
> Or would you think are we more free if we are limited to only <fill in
> your favorite definition of "free" here> software?  *That* would sound
> contradictory to me....

I have not followed the discussion, and I do not know the details of
the subject. I could be wrong in what follows.

If you've made an interface between Excel and Octave that only works
with Excel, this is a GPL violation, regardless of my or your opinion of
what "free" means.

If you wrote a generic interface that does not depend on Excel, then
there is no problem.

As to your definition of "free", the GPL forbids certain things, in
order to ensure the freedom of users, just like we must forbid slavery
in order to have a free society. When people use Octave, we want to
guarantee that all of its components are free. This guarantee is
provided by the GPL. If you break this promise by making Octave depend
on Excel, then you are not promoting software freedom. You would then
be promoting Excel.

- Jordi G. H.


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Re: IO package and Excel

John W. Eaton
Administrator
On 02/06/2014 03:11 PM, Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:

> If you've made an interface between Excel and Octave that only works
> with Excel, this is a GPL violation, regardless of my or your opinion of
> what "free" means.

I disagree with this interpretation of the GPL.  As is often the case, I
believe that it depends on the details of the interface.

jwe

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Re: IO package and Excel

PhilipNienhuis
In reply to this post by Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:

> On Thu, 2014-02-06 at 21:02 +0100, Philip Nienhuis wrote:
>
>> To me, "free" is also about freedom to choose what software or
>> combinations of software to use.
>> Or would you think are we more free if we are limited to only <fill in
>> your favorite definition of "free" here> software?  *That* would sound
>> contradictory to me....
>
> I have not followed the discussion, and I do not know the details of
> the subject. I could be wrong in what follows.
>
> If you've made an interface between Excel and Octave that only works
> with Excel, this is a GPL violation, regardless of my or your opinion of
> what "free" means.
>
> If you wrote a generic interface that does not depend on Excel, then
> there is no problem.
>
> As to your definition of "free", the GPL forbids certain things, in
> order to ensure the freedom of users, just like we must forbid slavery
> in order to have a free society. When people use Octave, we want to
> guarantee that all of its components are free. This guarantee is
> provided by the GPL. If you break this promise by making Octave depend
> on Excel, then you are not promoting software freedom. You would then
> be promoting Excel.

This already came up 5 years ago when I made the first xlsread/xlswrite
for io and it was concluded at the time that there were no problems.
Since that time I haven't thought much about it.
Yesterday I've re-read the entire GPL on-line, and I couldn't find clear
stanzas that -AFAIU- would support the illegality of the IO package
Excel interface as it stands. OK, IANAL, though I find the stuff there
pretty clear.
Do you have pointers?

FYI, Octave doesn't depend on Excel nor does xlsread/xlswrite depend on
it. It can invoke Excel; but there are 4 or 5 alternative "interfaces",
currently mostly Java-based. Users can (de-)select one or more
interfaces if desired.

Philip

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Re: IO package and Excel

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
On Thu, 2014-02-06 at 22:02 +0100, Philip Nienhuis wrote:
> Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:

> > If you've made an interface between Excel and Octave that only
> > works with Excel, this is a GPL violation, regardless of my or
> > your opinion of what "free" means.
> >
> > If you wrote a generic interface that does not depend on Excel, then
> > there is no problem.

>
> This already came up 5 years ago when I made the first xlsread/xlswrite
> for io and it was concluded at the time that there were no problems.
> Since that time I haven't thought much about it.

Okay, glad you've thought about it.

> Yesterday I've re-read the entire GPL on-line, and I couldn't find clear
> stanzas that -AFAIU- would support the illegality of the IO package
> Excel interface as it stands. OK, IANAL, though I find the stuff there
> pretty clear.
> Do you have pointers?

The language of the GPL aims to be both general and precise. These
goals are contradictory, so there is always room for interpretation.
It all depends on particulars.

> FYI, Octave doesn't depend on Excel nor does xlsread/xlswrite depend
> on it. It can invoke Excel; but there are 4 or 5 alternative
> "interfaces", currently mostly Java-based. Users can (de-)select one
> or more interfaces if desired.

Without knowing more details about the situation, and still conceding
that I could be wrong, this sounds like there is no problem.

- Jordi G. H.


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