Woctave-another gui front end

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

c.-2

On 20 Dec 2012, at 14:12, Stephen Montgomery-Smith wrote:

> 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?

that stands for Visual Studio, the VS compiled version is here:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/octave/files/Octave%20Windows%20binaries/Octave%203.6.2%20for%20Windows%20Microsoft%20Visual%20Studio/

HTH,
c.
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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

edmund ronald
In reply to this post by Sergei Steshenko
Dear all,

 I have a PhD in computer science, and used to teach AI. I wanted to
re-learn some Fourier stuff so I hunted down Octave. I don't think I
count as a beginner with computers.

 The experience of getting this thing to work on the Mac was horrid.
First I found a package, then I had to swap out Gnuplot, then it
couldn't show do image stuff, then I had to install Macports and
recompile and in the end it still couldn't do some stuff because of a
bug iof the Mac Gnuplot terminal if I remember rightly so I had to
switch to X11 and learn how to set the terminal yadda yadda. As for an
environment I use the mac Terminal.app which thankfully has cut and
paste ...

 Frankly, Octave is a beautiful piece of work, but  it suffers from
the Open Source mentality that you need to earn what you use. This is
a piece of software which one cannot recommend to anyone at a decent
university where they have a budget, simply because the time to get it
to work is 3 or four days which is more than a Matlab license would
cost. On a sidenote, the lab where I used to work dropped Matlab
because it was too expensive, but I am starting to see what they are
charging for.

Edmund
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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Montgomery-Smith, Stephen
In reply to this post by Sergei Steshenko
On 12/20/2012 08:11 AM, Sergei Steshenko wrote:

>
>
>
>
> ----- 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 :).

I am not a Windows user either.  That is probably one of the reasons why
I had a hard time with it.  The Unix experience is beautiful.

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
In reply to this post by edmund ronald
On 20 December 2012 09:49, edmund ronald <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  Frankly, Octave is a beautiful piece of work, but  it suffers from
> the Open Source mentality that you need to earn what you use.

Octave isn't deliberately difficult to use on Mac OS X. It's just that
getting it working there the way you might like is difficult. Here is
the latest effort to try to make it easier to use:

    http://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/Re-Coursera-about-Octave-td4647832.html

Mac OS X is a very difficult to system on which to do free
development, I might add.

And, as I said before, there isn't anything "open source" about Octave
except by accident.

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

marco atzeri-2
In reply to this post by edmund ronald
On 12/20/2012 3:49 PM, edmund ronald wrote:

> Dear all,
>
>   I have a PhD in computer science, and used to teach AI. I wanted to
> re-learn some Fourier stuff so I hunted down Octave. I don't think I
> count as a beginner with computers.
>
>   The experience of getting this thing to work on the Mac was horrid.
> First I found a package, then I had to swap out Gnuplot, then it
> couldn't show do image stuff, then I had to install Macports and
> recompile and in the end it still couldn't do some stuff because of a
> bug iof the Mac Gnuplot terminal if I remember rightly so I had to
> switch to X11 and learn how to set the terminal yadda yadda. As for an
> environment I use the mac Terminal.app which thankfully has cut and
> paste ...

blame Apple to make our life so hard in making binary.

>
>   Frankly, Octave is a beautiful piece of work, but  it suffers from
> the Open Source mentality that you need to earn what you use. This is
> a piece of software which one cannot recommend to anyone at a decent
> university where they have a budget, simply because the time to get it
> to work is 3 or four days which is more than a Matlab license would
> cost. On a sidenote, the lab where I used to work dropped Matlab
> because it was too expensive, but I am starting to see what they are
> charging for.

a Linux box with Octave will probably cost less

>
> Edmund


Marco


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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Michael Goffioul
In reply to this post by nrjank
On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 8:36 AM, Nicholas Jankowski <[hidden email]> wrote:
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.

Console2.

Michael.


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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

bpabbott
Administrator
In reply to this post by Montgomery-Smith, Stephen
On Dec 19, 2012, at 9:09 PM, Stephen Montgomery-Smith wrote:

> 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.

An "official" GUI is actively being developed.  For reference, our FAQ includes a section on the GUI.

        http://wiki.octave.org/FAQ#GUI

One motive for developing the GUI is largely to make it easier for individuals with no experience with programming to run octave.  These inexperienced users tend to run Windows (MacOS users are showing up in greater numbers as well).  Unfortunately, while it appears the majority of Octave's users run Windows, only a small minority of the developers use Windows.  This results in some tension between the developers and the users.  If life were "fair" the uses and developers would run various operating systems in similar proportions.  As it is Windows users must rely upon the good will of the developers.  Some of the Windows crowd feel entitled and make demands for Octave's development.  I don' t think you're doing this, but thought you'd appreciate why some of us may conclude you "fit the profile" and try to nip things before they get out of hand.

My last comment on this, is that it is uncommon for Windows users to offer praise or appreciation for the effort the development community puts into to Octave on Windows.  Developing Octave for Windows isn't just a thankless job, it often feels like one where no good deed goes unpunished :-(

In any event, there has been significant progress in the GUI and recently an effort was begun to allow a Windows version of Octave to be built on Linux.  The Linux built Octave can be run by Wine (Windows emulator that runs on Linux) or on Windows itself.

> 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.

You can use the "cd" command to specify the startup directory in the ~/.octaverc file.  You can use atexit(), ispref(), setpref(), and getref()  to modify the users ~/.octaverc file to change the startup directory to be the one used in the prior session.  The commands below work for me.

        startupdir = getpref ("startup", "startupdir", pwd ());
        cd (startupdir);
        function setstartupdir ()
          setpref ("startup", "startupdir", pwd ());
        endfunction
        atexit ("setstartupdir")

When I have time, I'll look for a proper place to add this to the documentation as an example for how the preferences can be used.

> 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.

The GUI under development includes an integrated editor.

> 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.)

There have been several GUI's developed for Octave.  They each suffer from a common design problem.

        http://wiki.octave.org/FAQ#What_about_all_the_Octave_GUIs_I_find_on_Google.3F

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

This is one reason the development community decided to work on a GUI.

Ben


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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

bpabbott
Administrator
In reply to this post by edmund ronald
On Dec 20, 2012, at 9:49 AM, edmund ronald wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> I have a PhD in computer science, and used to teach AI. I wanted to
> re-learn some Fourier stuff so I hunted down Octave. I don't think I
> count as a beginner with computers.
>
> The experience of getting this thing to work on the Mac was horrid.
> First I found a package, then I had to swap out Gnuplot, then it
> couldn't show do image stuff, then I had to install Macports and
> recompile and in the end it still couldn't do some stuff because of a
> bug iof the Mac Gnuplot terminal if I remember rightly so I had to
> switch to X11 and learn how to set the terminal yadda yadda. As for an
> environment I use the mac Terminal.app which thankfully has cut and
> paste ...
>
> Frankly, Octave is a beautiful piece of work, but  it suffers from
> the Open Source mentality that you need to earn what you use. This is
> a piece of software which one cannot recommend to anyone at a decent
> university where they have a budget, simply because the time to get it
> to work is 3 or four days which is more than a Matlab license would
> cost. On a sidenote, the lab where I used to work dropped Matlab
> because it was too expensive, but I am starting to see what they are
> charging for.
>
> Edmund

The most convenient approach to installing Octave on MacOS X is to do it the Linux way.

        http://wiki.octave.org/Octave_for_MacOS_X

Personally, I'd recommend using the Fink package manager to install Octave.

        http://wiki.octave.org/Octave_for_MacOS_X#Fink

Ben

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

nrjank
In reply to this post by bpabbott
On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 10:43 AM, Ben Abbott <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Dec 19, 2012, at 9:09 PM, Stephen Montgomery-Smith wrote:
  <snip>
>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.

You can use the "cd" command to specify the startup directory in the ~/.octaverc file. 

last I checked, the Windows MinGW build has the following line at the end of the .octaverc file, which defaults startup to the users home folder. (C:/Users/username for Win Vista/7, I think it's C:/Documents and Settings/username for XP)

cd(getenv('USERPROFILE'))

I always comment this line out, and set a windows shortcut with no 'start in' location so that it starts wherever the shortcut is located. then i drop an Octave shortcut at the root of any project folder i'm working in. maybe a bit cumbersome, but it works for me.

nickj.

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

c.-2
In reply to this post by edmund ronald

On 20 Dec 2012, at 15:49, edmund ronald wrote:

>  simply because the time to get it
> to work is 3 or four days which is more than a Matlab license would
> cost

Would you agree to pay the cost of a few Matlab licences to have a proper OSX dmg installer for Octave?
If so, I think we can probably find someone to do the job (well actually someone has the job almost dome already,
the money would indeed motivate him to complete it).
c.
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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

nrjank
On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 11:07 AM, c. <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 20 Dec 2012, at 15:49, edmund ronald wrote:

>  simply because the time to get it
> to work is 3 or four days which is more than a Matlab license would
> cost

Would you agree to pay the cost of a few Matlab licences to have a proper OSX dmg installer for Octave?
If so, I think we can probably find someone to do the job (well actually someone has the job almost dome already,
the money would indeed motivate him to complete it).
c.

that's purchasing a service rather than making an acquisition. although equal in dollar value, those costs are not equal in the eyes of many organizations.

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Sergei Steshenko
In reply to this post by nrjank
>________________________________
> From: Nicholas Jankowski <[hidden email]>
>To: Octave users list <[hidden email]>
>Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:36 PM
>Subject: Re: Woctave-another gui front end
>
>
[snip]
>
>how would a user intuitively know the name of one numerical integration function is quad... he wouldn't. 
[snip]
>Alright, guess it's time to get to work now.
>
>Nick J.
>


That's the funniest part so far. I mean, how does a user from GUI can know that "the name of one numerical integration function is quad" ?

As I said, and I reiterate: those who don't bother to RTFM _first_ do _not_ deserve to deal with science/engineering.

Aversion to reading/learning almost definitely means possessing it can't do the engineering/science work.

The CLI and its concepts are _far_ simpler than serious thing in engineering/science.

There _exist_ entry barriers. E.g. pilots _first_ learn math, physics, aerodynamics, and only _then_ how to pilot planes.


The barriers exist for _very_ good reasons.

Regards,
  Sergei.

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Sergei Steshenko
In reply to this post by edmund ronald




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

> From: edmund ronald <[hidden email]>
> To: Sergei Steshenko <[hidden email]>
> Cc: Stephen Montgomery-Smith <[hidden email]>; c. <[hidden email]>; "[hidden email]" <[hidden email]>
> Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2012 4:49 PM
> Subject: Re: Woctave-another gui front end
>
> Dear all,
>
> I have a PhD in computer science, and used to teach AI. I wanted to
> re-learn some Fourier stuff so I hunted down Octave. I don't think I
> count as a beginner with computers.
>
> The experience of getting this thing to work on the Mac was horrid.
> First I found a package, then I had to swap out Gnuplot, then it
> couldn't show do image stuff, then I had to install Macports and
> recompile and in the end it still couldn't do some stuff because of a
> bug iof the Mac Gnuplot terminal if I remember rightly so I had to
> switch to X11 and learn how to set the terminal yadda yadda. As for an
> environment I use the mac Terminal.app which thankfully has cut and
> paste ...
>
> Frankly, Octave is a beautiful piece of work, but  it suffers from
> the Open Source mentality that you need to earn what you use. This is
> a piece of software which one cannot recommend to anyone at a decent
> university where they have a budget, simply because the time to get it
> to work is 3 or four days which is more than a Matlab license would
> cost. On a sidenote, the lab where I used to work dropped Matlab
> because it was too expensive, but I am starting to see what they are
> charging for.
>
> Edmund
>

Yes, Mathworks changers for convenience.

Yes, people are lazy to learn.

Yes, you are right about FOSS croud mentality. Yes, the mentality often prefers writing new code (new wheels look so sexy !) rather than packaging existing pieces of code and making them work together out of the box.

Regards,
  Sergei.

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Dimitri Maziuk
In reply to this post by nrjank
On 12/20/2012 10:12 AM, Nicholas Jankowski wrote:

> On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 11:07 AM, c. <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>
>     On 20 Dec 2012, at 15:49, edmund ronald wrote:
>
>      >  simply because the time to get it
>      > to work is 3 or four days which is more than a Matlab license would
>      > cost
>
>     Would you agree to pay the cost of a few Matlab licences to have a
>     proper OSX dmg installer for Octave?
>     If so, I think we can probably find someone to do the job (well
>     actually someone has the job almost dome already,
>     the money would indeed motivate him to complete it).
>     c.
>
>
> that's purchasing a service rather than making an acquisition. although
> equal in dollar value, those costs are not equal in the eyes of many
> organizations.

If you believe you make an acquisition when you pay for software you're
delusional. Yes, many organizations are.
(E.g. you pay for matlab, you have to pay again next year.)

Speaking of Windows and gooeys, the only usable cross-platform gui is
java. There is this java program called jedit that we've been using for
years, it's a "programmer's" text editor with plugin hooks and a large
number of plugins. Has tabbed buffers, split views, rectangular
copy-paste, a ton of plugins incl. IDE-type ones already available.
Anyone heard of it?

Dima

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Sergei Steshenko




----- Original Message -----
> From: Dimitri Maziuk <[hidden email]>
> To: [hidden email]
> Cc:
> Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2012 7:15 PM
> Subject: Re: Woctave-another gui front end
[snip]
>
> Speaking of Windows and gooeys, the only usable cross-platform gui is
> java.
[snip]
>
> Dima
>

Tcl/Tk, Qt, wxWidgets.

Whatever Java stuff I tried, it was slow.

Highly subjectively I think that the problem maybe is not with Java itself, but with its community, but we have what we have.

Regards,
  Sergei.

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Montgomery-Smith, Stephen
In reply to this post by nrjank
On 12/20/12 07:36, Nicholas Jankowski wrote:

> 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...
>


I tell people to use "google."  It is actually rather easy to have an
octave window and a browser window open at the same time.  And google is
really good at intelligent searching, even correcting your spelling
mistakes.  You can type "matlab integrate" or "octave integrate" and
read whichever documentation you think is better.  (In this case I
personally preferred the octave documentation.)

I think google is so good that even when I am using commercial software
like Mathematica, I use google instead of the Help facility that comes
with the program.  You get the same information, but the google/browser
interface is better IMO.

Stephen


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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Francesco Potortì
In reply to this post by edmund ronald
>Frankly, Octave is a beautiful piece of work, but  it suffers from
>the Open Source mentality that you need to earn what you use.

No, it suffers from the fact that no one has done it yet.  As soon as
someone is motivated enough (e.g. by paying them), it will be done...

>       This is
>a piece of software which one cannot recommend to anyone at a decent
>university where they have a budget, simply because the time to get it
>to work is 3 or four days which is more than a Matlab license would
>cost.

Oh, no, that's on Mac only.  I occasionally use it on Windows and it was
relatively easy to install, and I routinely use it on Debian, where
installing it is a piece of cake.

You make a virtual machine, install Debian on it, install Octave from
the packaging system.  That's very easy.

--
Francesco Potortì (ricercatore)        Voice:  +39.050.315.3058 (op.2111)
ISTI - Area della ricerca CNR          Mobile: +39.348.8283.107
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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

marco atzeri-2
In reply to this post by nrjank
On 12/20/2012 2:36 PM, Nicholas Jankowski wrote:

> 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...

Nick,
I suggest to start reading the manual, as it is very helpful

http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/doc/interpreter/index.html
chapter 23


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

About work, I hate any time MS modify the
Excel/Word/PowerPoint interfaces;
every 3 years I need to re-learn where the menu items
where moved. And the help is not very good to find them....

Any visual interface has some un-explained conventions;
until I read the manual I had no clue that double-clik
the only button has a specific usage on IPhone.
Everything is easy for the people that already know.


Marco

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

Montgomery-Smith, Stephen
In reply to this post by Francesco Potortì
On 12/20/12 11:47, Francesco Potortì wrote:
>> Frankly, Octave is a beautiful piece of work, but  it suffers from
>> the Open Source mentality that you need to earn what you use.
>
> No, it suffers from the fact that no one has done it yet.  As soon as
> someone is motivated enough (e.g. by paying them), it will be done...

I thought that Eric Raymond's characterization of what motivates people
to write open-source (or free) software was very good: "Every good work
of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cathedral_and_the_Bazaar

But let me also say this.  Open source (or free) software is what it is,
and you take it for what it is.  I personally really love developing
software in a unix environment, and octave is one of those really good
tools that I have the freedom to use.  I personally don't feel I have to
earn the right to use the software, but I can appreciate that unpaid
software developers will develop the software that works well in the
environment that they like to use.  People are willing to generously
share the fruits of their labors with others, but take the gift as just
that - a gift.  There should be no strings attached, either on the part
of the giver, or the recipient.

Of course if your goal is to "take over the world" - perhaps persuade
Matlab users that they should quit using Matlab and use octave instead -
well then you have taken upon yourself a difficult task, and I'll not be
joining your cause.

And by the way, what is this difference between "open source" and
"free"?  I'm not motivated enough to search around the mailing list
archives to find out, but if someone wants to reply to this email and
explain it yet again, I will make the effort and read the reply.

Stephen

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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

c.-2
In reply to this post by Francesco Potortì

On 20 Dec 2012, at 18:47, Francesco Potortì wrote:

> Oh, no, that's on Mac only.  I occasionally use it on Windows and it was
> relatively easy to install, and I routinely use it on Debian, where
> installing it is a piece of cake.

It's actually very simple on OSX as well, it's a one liner command in the terminal.
Unfortunately it seems that that is enough to scare away many OSX users ...
c.

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