Woctave-another gui front end

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Sergei Steshenko




----- Original Message -----

> From: delta <[hidden email]>
> To: [hidden email]
> Cc:
> Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 8:10 PM
> Subject: Re: Woctave-another gui front end
>
> I'd like to put my two cents in on the matter. I use octave to get work
> done,
> I am a USER not a programmer. One problem that I have had with open\free
> software is that it is not built for everyone, but mostly for the people
> that write the code. Because I am an electrical engineer, I use software
> (free or not) to my advantage to make myself more profitable, my goal is to
> accomplish my tasks in the shortest time possible. I like software that I
> can sit down and use without knowing anything about it before hand, this
> saves me the most time, the time that I save can then be used to read other
> things like chip documentation ect. One thing that I find with open software
> is it is software written by programmers made for programmers. It is a
> trivial thing that comes from a programming background to install\use octave
> and install all of the packages. For what my time is worth, by the time I
> familiarize myself with all of octaves nuances I might as well have bought
> the equivalent commercial package, because my time is worth money. I might
> also add that the commercial version has very little bugs, which also saves
> me time. I do donate to open source projects, but only to the one's that I
> can use, find well polished and save me time.
>
>
>


Suppose you have a piece of SW with tens of buttons and menus, and looking at buttons and menus you can't figure out what they are about.

Not because of poor GUI implementation, but because of the complexity of the problems the SW deals with.

So, you see a "Help" button.

No, just _honestly_, what is the logical difference between pressing the "Help" button or entering on command line

man your_program_name

or inside the program entering

help function_name

?

I myself wrote a GUI for my DSP/acoustics project with literally thousands of sliders, but in this case it makes sense - because I use the slider to _draw_ curves, i.e. I use GUI to perform _graphical_ operations.


And yes, the your time argument is _absolutely_ valid - you need to survive firs and only then, if you wish and have resources, to support and (alien) GPL cause.

But also the _money_ argument is absolutely valid - either you know and thus can pay less (the _attainable_ limit is 0), or you know less and pay more.

...

Using SW not knowing the fundamentals is _Very_ dangerous - I once showed how Butterworth filter doesn't work in both Scilab and Octave (and Scilab folks found out that in Matlab too) because of numeric accuracy issues.

And, actually, it can be made work if you know what to do - one needs to call 'butter' function in a less trivial way.

...

I have just learned fundamental things about 'qcad'. Quite a GUI application, but I read the manual first.


Regards,
 Sergei.

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Sergei Steshenko
In reply to this post by delta




----- Original Message -----

> From: delta <[hidden email]>
> To: [hidden email]
> Cc:
> Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2012 2:38 AM
> Subject: Re: Woctave-another gui front end
>
> Yeah, good point this could use some definition. When I say programmer I mean
> people who are actively involved in the creation of software and spend most
> of their time writing code, this is much different than someone who sits
> down at their computer and wants to download and use software. When you are
> intimately familiar with the inner workings of a program, there are not many
> things that bother you. If there is a bug then you can re-write the code (or
> talk with one of your buddies that does), if there is a function missing you
> can request it and write it yourself. While I would love to do these things,
> I do not primarily work with computer languages to produce software. I
> usually use C to develop firmware for embedded systems, which is vastly
> different from software creation in an object oriented language. I think
> there is a disconnect of people who produce the code for the program and
> those that use it in most 'free' software projects because once they get
> it
> to a working state that suits their purpose, then that is good enough for
> them.
>
>
>

"If you want a job well done, do it yourself" (c).

It is not that difficult to grasp OOP concepts.

C++ can be used for embedded systems too. Type safety is a good thing. There is no performance penalty if you use C++ correctly.

Regards,
  Sergei.

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
In reply to this post by delta
On 19 December 2012 19:38, delta <[hidden email]> wrote:
> those that use it in most 'free' software projects

I am not sure why are you using scare quotes. The "free" here is not
"free of price" but "free of restrictions".

Hae you read this?

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html

- Jordi G. H.
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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Montgomery-Smith, Stephen
In reply to this post by vinukn
On 12/04/2012 08:46 AM, vinukn wrote:
> Anyone know woctave? http://sourceforge.net/projects/woctave/ . I just found
> today. It look like guioctave,but opensource. It is a small one,written in
> wtl.

I see there has been a lot of discussion about whether a GUI is desired
or not.  But let me add my point of view.

I teach a class "numerical linear algebra," and octave/matlab are
obviously the best programs for the students to use.  I use octave in a
unix environment, and I find the command line interface extremely easy
to use.  I combine a terminal window, an editor like gedit, and octave
running in the terminal window, and it works just great.

However, this is far harder to do in the windows environment.  Octave
creates an icon, and when you double click on it, it creates a terminal
window whose default directory is somewhere in the depths of an octave
directory.  One would like it to open in a default directory like the
users Documents directory, or at least in the directory it was in when
you last used it.

Then to edit the file, one uses notepad or writepad.  But how to
persuade these simple editors to save a file as an ".m" file?  Windows
tries to automate the file extensions, and as a result it becomes hard
to use the file extension ".m".  Furthermore, unix uses "line feed" as
end of line markers, and the notepad program seems completely unable to
handle this gracefully.  So programs copied from my website did not do
well.  Finally we figured out we should download another program called
"notepad++."  (I also found out how to change a windows setting, but I
honestly don't remember what it was.)  All of this took valuable time,
which should be spent understanding matrices, and understanding basic
matlab/octave commands.

If woctave provides a gui which simply provides two or three windows - a
window to run commands - a window to edit files - and a window to
display results, then this gui will have succeeded admirably.  And I
will definitely be introducing it to my students.  (And I don't need a
good "help" button, because "google" does extremely well.)

The reason octave needs a GUI is precisely this - the Windows OS does
not play friendly with non-GUI programs.

Stephen

P.S.  I just tried woctave.  One thing I couldn't figure out was how to
get it to display plots: e.g. plot(1:10,1:10) should display a straight
line.  So I am probably not going to use it until I get this issue resolved.

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
On 19 December 2012 21:09, Stephen Montgomery-Smith
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> I teach a class "numerical linear algebra," and octave/matlab are
> obviously the best programs for the students to use.

Far from obvious:

    http://hplgit.github.com/edu/uiopy/uiopy.html

- Jordi G. H.
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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Montgomery-Smith, Stephen
On 12/19/2012 08:21 PM, Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:
> On 19 December 2012 21:09, Stephen Montgomery-Smith
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I teach a class "numerical linear algebra," and octave/matlab are
>> obviously the best programs for the students to use.
>
> Far from obvious:
>
>     http://hplgit.github.com/edu/uiopy/uiopy.html

Thanks for the reference.  I will look at the book he wrote.  If nothing
else, so that I can teach myself python (which I don't know yet, but
from the little I have seen it looks beautiful).

However your point doesn't address my main point.  :-)
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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Freddy Omar López Quintero
In reply to this post by Sergei Steshenko


On Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 8:27 PM, Sergei Steshenko <[hidden email]> wrote:
No, just _honestly_, what is the logical difference between pressing the "Help" button or entering on command line

An extreme diary example of the advantage of a simple GUI (I don't want thousands of buttons) is to moving to any directory. In text mode I have to type every single (initial) letter in the path; instead a pairs of clicks inside a GUI. This is time, and time, at least for me, is tremendously valuable. 

Anyway.


--
«But Gwindor answered: 'The doom lies in yourself, not in your name.'»

JRR Tolkien

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
In reply to this post by Montgomery-Smith, Stephen
On 19 December 2012 21:34, Stephen Montgomery-Smith
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> However your point doesn't address my main point.  :-)

Your main point gets rehashed all the time. Yes, we know Octave sucks
and will forever suck unless it gets a GUI that runs on Windows and
looks exactly like Matlab (do people really want the latest Matlab
ribbon, though?) and our documentation sucks and you won't even use it
because you're too busy to help fix it or use it.

These are the latest developments that address some of the suckage:

    http://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/cross-compiling-Octave-for-MinGW-systems-td4646732.html
    http://octave-gsoc2012.blogspot.ca/

- Jordi G. H.
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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Montgomery-Smith, Stephen
On 12/19/2012 09:08 PM, Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:

> On 19 December 2012 21:34, Stephen Montgomery-Smith
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> However your point doesn't address my main point.  :-)
>
> Your main point gets rehashed all the time. Yes, we know Octave sucks
> and will forever suck unless it gets a GUI that runs on Windows and
> looks exactly like Matlab (do people really want the latest Matlab
> ribbon, though?) and our documentation sucks and you won't even use it
> because you're too busy to help fix it or use it.
>
> These are the latest developments that address some of the suckage:
>
>     http://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/cross-compiling-Octave-for-MinGW-systems-td4646732.html
>     http://octave-gsoc2012.blogspot.ca/
>
> - Jordi G. H.

That second web site looks really cool.  They say they want people to
try it out, but I couldn't find a place to download it.  I would love to
try it out.

But as to your first point, why do you carp quite so much on people who
point out the lack of some feature, but don't have the time or abilities
to contribute?  Maybe those other people are engaged in other worthwhile
projects that are taking up their time, and maybe they even deal with
complaints about their projects, but don't immediately jump down the
other people's throats with "well, what have you done to help?"
Especially when those people are not actually whining, but just asking
or answering questions.


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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

edmund ronald
Two points:

1. I would like to be able to *make* GUI apps with Octave. Apps I can
let other people use.

 2. A GUI for programming is hard, because it has to be good to be
useful. I don't like the Matlab GUI. But  at the very least
parenthesis matching is a good thing :)

In the light of (1) and (2) I think Octave developers should develop a
GUI-design tool for apps and handle graphic templates and leave GUI
programming interfaces to whoever wants to make them.

Edmund
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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Sergei Steshenko
In reply to this post by Montgomery-Smith, Stephen




----- Original Message -----
> From: Stephen Montgomery-Smith <[hidden email]>
> To: [hidden email]
> Cc:
> Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2012 4:09 AM
> Subject: Re: Woctave-another gui front end
>
[snip]
> Finally we figured out we should download another program called
> "notepad++."  (I also found out how to change a windows setting, but I
> honestly don't remember what it was.)  All of this took valuable time,
> which should be spent understanding matrices, and understanding basic
> matlab/octave commands.
>
[snip]
> Stephen


So, instead of spending time on writing a GUI Octave developers and packagers better _package_ Octave with Notepad++ and with a decent terminal emulator for Windows (PuTTY ? - http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/), and some .bat file which "glues" all this together and changes the necessary settings.

Regards,
  Sergei.

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
In reply to this post by Montgomery-Smith, Stephen
On 19 December 2012 22:38, Stephen Montgomery-Smith
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> But as to your first point, why do you carp quite so much on people who
> point out the lack of some feature, but don't have the time or abilities
> to contribute?

Because I don't have the abilities nor time to contribute either, but
I do anyways. I am quite stupid and limited in my abilities.

Octave can only improve through people like you and me. It is not
helpful to enumerate again the ways it sucks. We know it sucks. We
know we need a GUI. We know we need better documentation. Just stating
these facts again and again is not useful. We only need to state them
once, in our bug tracker:

    http://bugs.octave.org

Or if you do think it's useful to enumerate time and time again all
the things that Octave really needs until your students can use it,
perhaps we could have a dedicated blog like this one, but about
Octave:

    https://abandonmatlab.wordpress.com/

Thank you for helping with Octave questions and any other involvement
you can offer.

- Jordi G. H.
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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

c.-2
In reply to this post by Sergei Steshenko

On 20 Dec 2012, at 13:22, Sergei Steshenko wrote:

> So, instead of spending time on writing a GUI Octave developers and packagers better _package_ Octave with Notepad++ and with a decent terminal emulator for Windows (PuTTY ? - http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/), and some .bat file which "glues" all this together and changes the necessary settings.

It's been a long time since I last used windows, but IIRC the VS distribution of Octave
for windows used to come with an editor (scintilla) and a terminal emulator ...

> Regards,
>   Sergei.
c.
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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Montgomery-Smith, Stephen
In reply to this post by Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
On 12/20/2012 06:31 AM, Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:

> On 19 December 2012 22:38, Stephen Montgomery-Smith
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> But as to your first point, why do you carp quite so much on people who
>> point out the lack of some feature, but don't have the time or abilities
>> to contribute?
>
> Because I don't have the abilities nor time to contribute either, but
> I do anyways. I am quite stupid and limited in my abilities.
>
> Octave can only improve through people like you and me. It is not
> helpful to enumerate again the ways it sucks. We know it sucks. We
> know we need a GUI. We know we need better documentation. Just stating
> these facts again and again is not useful. We only need to state them
> once, in our bug tracker:
>
>     http://bugs.octave.org
>
> Or if you do think it's useful to enumerate time and time again all
> the things that Octave really needs until your students can use it,
> perhaps we could have a dedicated blog like this one, but about
> Octave:
>
>     https://abandonmatlab.wordpress.com/
>
> Thank you for helping with Octave questions and any other involvement
> you can offer.

I think that second blog kind of misses the point of matlab or octave.
If you want a more comprehensive language that can handle matrices AND
be able to take apart text files, use a language like python.  Or do
what I do (but in a unix environment) - use octave, and glue it to other
programs using something like Perl.

What I very much like about Matlab is the very "flatness" described on
the other webpage you provided to me:
http://hplgit.github.com/edu/uiopy/uiopy.html.  It means that students
who have very limited programming experience can learn the basics of
matlab very quickly.

But I do understand his frustration, that people learn matlab, and then
act as if that is all there is.

As to your other points, I do feel that you are consistently taking my
words out of context, and making me say something a little different
than I intend.  You really did that from the first time you replied to
me.  Maybe you have seen too much real complaining from other people,
and projected what you saw of them onto me.  Anyway, I don't think we
are communicating well, so I'll stop.

Stephen

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Montgomery-Smith, Stephen
In reply to this post by c.-2
On 12/20/2012 06:34 AM, c. wrote:
>
> On 20 Dec 2012, at 13:22, Sergei Steshenko wrote:
>
>> So, instead of spending time on writing a GUI Octave developers and packagers better _package_ Octave with Notepad++ and with a decent terminal emulator for Windows (PuTTY ? - http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/), and some .bat file which "glues" all this together and changes the necessary settings.
>

That would suit my needs admirably.

> It's been a long time since I last used windows, but IIRC the VS distribution of Octave
> for windows used to come with an editor (scintilla) and a terminal emulator ...

I am using the version of octave that I found at
http://sourceforge.net/projects/octave/files/Octave%20Windows%20binaries/

I presume this isn't the "VS" distribution of octave.  Where do I find
the "VS" distribution?  What does "VS" refer to?

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Michael Goffioul
On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 8:12 AM, Stephen Montgomery-Smith <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 12/20/2012 06:34 AM, c. wrote:
>
> On 20 Dec 2012, at 13:22, Sergei Steshenko wrote:
>
>> So, instead of spending time on writing a GUI Octave developers and packagers better _package_ Octave with Notepad++ and with a decent terminal emulator for Windows (PuTTY ? - http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/), and some .bat file which "glues" all this together and changes the necessary settings.
>

That would suit my needs admirably.

> It's been a long time since I last used windows, but IIRC the VS distribution of Octave
> for windows used to come with an editor (scintilla) and a terminal emulator ...

I am using the version of octave that I found at
http://sourceforge.net/projects/octave/files/Octave%20Windows%20binaries/

I presume this isn't the "VS" distribution of octave.  Where do I find
the "VS" distribution?  What does "VS" refer to?

VS  refers to Visual Studio and the binaries are available from the link above. However, I stopped including a text editor with the binaries I make.

Michael.


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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

nrjank
In reply to this post by c.-2
On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 7:34 AM, c. <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 20 Dec 2012, at 13:22, Sergei Steshenko wrote:

> So, instead of spending time on writing a GUI Octave developers and packagers better _package_ Octave with Notepad++ and with a decent terminal emulator for Windows (PuTTY ? - http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/), and some .bat file which "glues" all this together and changes the necessary settings.

It's been a long time since I last used windows, but IIRC the VS distribution of Octave
for windows used to come with an editor (scintilla) and a terminal emulator ...


pretty sure it was an older version of the MinGW track, as I still opt to use SciTE for windows as a result. Don't know the name of the terminal it uses, but it seems as good as any.

<sub-thread hop>

>perhaps we could have a dedicated blog like this one, but about
>Octave:
>
>   https://abandonmatlab.wordpress.com/

See, while I typically try to ignore these philosophical threads, gems like this pop up. Found parts of his latest highly entertaining... in particular:
"So I was planning to tweak this code and send it back with a note about “here’s a nice way to do it better and let the computer take more of your mental load” (this person teaches a course on MATLAB for scientists, you see, so I want to slightly reduce the f###ing brain damage that gets propagated out into the academic world.)"

Made my morning.

About a GUI (which seems to have two meanings here, 1 is the user interface, 2 is using the program to creating interfaces.) Remember when all MP3 player interfaces sucked and then the iPod came around? (maybe not, but that could say more about the person reading this.) It wasn't overly new, other players did the same thing, some did more. But BAM... it won the marketshare game.  AND YOU PAID (still pay) THROUGH THE NOSE FOR IT.

Can't/Won't pay for that? Then you get whatever's next best, not as shiny, but still gets the job done. my $15 Sansa with a broken LCD for example.

Next, I'm comfortable working Octave from a CLI. But I take issue with anyone who says a CLI should be enough for anyone.  A CLI presents a barrier to entry. Why?  because it's non-intuitive. Why? because it likely requires prior knowledge separate from the knowledge that got them to the CLI if they're using a graphical Windows/Linux/Mac OS. Once the CLI appears, they need to know what to do. A GUI takes advantage of visual cues and familiarity to guide the user. A CLI requires the person to know what help they want before they can get it. Now, Octave/ML likely require someone to know at least a tiny bit more in advance than for using an MP3 player. But if they just know they want to 'do some math', there would hopefully be an obvious path to starting to learn. and 'read this 300pg pdf' will send many an engineer back to ungly Excel-algorithms. :)

Many systems will have the entry prompt or MOTD say 'type help for a list of basic commands'.  From there, a list appears and the user can use those visual cues to start fumbling around. A GUI takes advantage of a modern user's built in tendency to 'click around' for what looks right. It takes advantage of the parallel processing nature of visual learning, with a minimum of prior knowledge required. In Octave, if you intuitively type HELP, you are informed that you can get help with individual commands by typing 'help NAME'.  but what if I don't know the name? I might find it in a GUI list of commands, or list of help topics, but now I just have the blinking cursor.
help integrate -->  'integrate not found'. 
help quad --> Numerically evaluate the integral...

how would a user intuitively know the name of one numerical integration function is quad... he wouldn't. now, the 'see also, at the bottom of many helps is immeasurably useful. it provides visual cues in a parallel format for further exploration. user knowledge of how to overcome the initial CLI progress barrier can't be assumed since the DOS prompt disappeared under XP.  how do you get them started...

This is in no way unique to Octave among the free software community (see, I didn't say open source. I may be learning.). Time gets spent by volunteers on what is useful to them. they're used to working with the program as it is. they'd often rather spend time on what's a barrier to them getting things done, which is rarely the interface. There's a reason non-free software can have a nicer interface. It's because they can pay developers to spend time on that aspect. you want a free tool, expect to get one not tailored to your likes. you want one that is? free may not be your best option.

Alright, guess it's time to get to work now.

Nick J.

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Wolfgang Lindner-4
In reply to this post by vinukn
hi all,

let me remember that it is possible to use
the following new native Windows-GUI for Octave:

http://mat.caminos.upm.es/octave/

Only download the following 2 files:

http://forja.rediris.es/frs/download.php/2796/Octave-UPM-R6-setup.exe
http://forja.rediris.es/frs/download.php/2664/vcredist_x86.exe

Then you will have a nice stable working GUI under Windows.
Give it a try.

best regards
Wolfgang
______________________________________________________________________
Dr. Wolfgang Lindner . Lehrbeauftragter FernUniversität Hagen, Germany

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: c. <[hidden email]>
An: Sergei Steshenko <[hidden email]>
Cc: [hidden email] <[hidden email]>
Datum: Donnerstag, 20. Dezember 2012 13:39
Betreff: Re: Woctave-another gui front end


|
|On 20 Dec 2012, at 13:22, Sergei Steshenko wrote:
|
|> So, instead of spending time on writing a GUI Octave developers and
packagers better _package_ Octave with Notepad++ and with a decent terminal
emulator for Windows (PuTTY ? -
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/), and some .bat file
which "glues" all this together and changes the necessary settings.
|
|It's been a long time since I last used windows, but IIRC the VS
distribution of Octave
|for windows used to come with an editor (scintilla) and a terminal emulator
...
|
|> Regards,
|>   Sergei.
|c.
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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Carnë Draug
In reply to this post by vinukn
On 20 December 2012 13:37,  <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 08:36:27 -0500
> From: Nicholas Jankowski <[hidden email]>
> To: Octave users list <[hidden email]>
> Many systems will have the entry prompt or MOTD say 'type help for a list
> of basic commands'.  From there, a list appears and the user can use those
> visual cues to start fumbling around. A GUI takes advantage of a modern
> user's built in tendency to 'click around' for what looks right. It takes
> advantage of the parallel processing nature of visual learning, with a
> minimum of prior knowledge required. In Octave, if you intuitively type
> HELP, you are informed that you can get help with individual commands by
> typing 'help NAME'.  but what if I don't know the name? I might find it in
> a GUI list of commands, or list of help topics, but now I just have the
> blinking cursor.
> help integrate -->  'integrate not found'.
> help quad --> Numerically evaluate the integral...
>
> how would a user intuitively know the name of one numerical integration
> function is quad... he wouldn't.

You can use lookfor. Terribly useful and still, almost no one knows
about it. Try `lookfor integral` or see
http://wiki.octave.org/FAQ#do_xxxx.3F

Carnë
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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Sergei Steshenko
In reply to this post by Montgomery-Smith, Stephen




----- Original Message -----
> From: Stephen Montgomery-Smith <[hidden email]>
> To: c. <[hidden email]>
> Cc: Sergei Steshenko <[hidden email]>; "[hidden email]" <[hidden email]>
> Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:12 PM
> Subject: Re: Woctave-another gui front end
[snip]
> What does "VS" refer to?
>

VS == Visual Studio (of Microsoft) - opposed to MingGW (Minimum GNU for Windows).

I.e. the two are two Octave builds using different build environments.

Disclaimer - I am not a Windows Octave user :).

Regards,
  Sergei.

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