Talk:GNU Octave

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4.0.2. since 2016-04-21 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:35, 9 June 2016 (UTC)


Does anyone know for sure if the person Octave is named after is ?

 I think so.  Prof Octave Levenspiel is a famous expert in Chemical Reaction Engineering and had written a well-know book on it.
 All of these info is in accord with the message about naming in Octave's manual:
   Virtually everyone thinks that the name Octave has something to do with music, but it is actually the name of a former
   professor of mine who wrote a famous textbook on chemical reaction engineering, and who was also well known for his ability
   to do quick `back of the envelope' calculations. We hope that this software will make it possible for many people to do more
   ambitious computations just as easily.
        See  --realwhz  —Preceding unsigned comment added by Realwhz (talkcontribs) 18:05, 7 April 2008 (UTC) 

Comparison with MatLab[edit]

Could someone please expand this article with more details about its relation with matlab? Thanks 07:15, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Octave is quite far behind matlab even on basic things. If you start digging into the toolboxes it's just not there in octave, doing the graphics is also not comparable. All in all, octave will do nicely as a simple calculator and for some scripts especially adapted for it (if for example you need to distribute something w/o paying license fees. It would probably be constructive for octave to do a proper graphical implementation and try to have basic implementations of the toolbox features, so that at least it can work as a decent stand-alone matlab clone.--Godal (talk) 23:21, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

"The differences between Octave and MATLAB are usually because the authors of Octave decided on a better and subjective implementation than the way MATLAB does it, and so introduced "user preference variables" so as to allow the user to customize Octave's behavior to be either MATLAB-compatible or to use Octave's new features." -Terrible Sentence. Plus, it's very non-neutral! Danielfranciscook 20:16, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Actually, like other MATLAB clones such as Sysquake and O-Matrix, Octave trails behind. Features like objects (MATLAB 5) and anonymous functions (MATLAB 7) aren't implemented yet. But as the article says, at least for mathematics, it's easy to develop code compatible with both. Engelec 15:59, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

How do octave and matlab compare in terms of performance? Mathmo Talk 01:11, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Matlab is obviously faster, but the exact ratio depends on the code. (talk) 21:03, 23 May 2008 (UTC)


Wouldn't an actual screenshot be more informative than just some random graph? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:58, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Screenshots of command line programs tend to be boring. There don't seem to be any screenshots on the octave website & the article about gnuplot doesn't show a screenshot. There are various frontends to Octave, but I don't know if there's a reason to pick a particular one for a screenshot unless that frontend is particularly notable. --19:29, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Variable-length Return Lists[edit]

In the Octave documentation it says that the method for variable-length return lists is function [...]=f, using the ellipsis. Is this no longer used? It certainly didn't seem to run for me. On the other hand, although I could run the code given in the text, it wasn't clear to me how to access the return list after the code was run? I must be a bit dense, but perhaps that would be a useful clarification? Grj23 (talk) 22:27, 9 September 2008 (UTC)


There is some general cleanup and citing needed for this page. I will be working on it for a little while. ~nat1192 (talk) 20:20, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I think the reference to should be removed.--SiggyF (talk) 09:46, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Speed comparison?[edit]

The article should discuss the speed, as compared to e.g. MATLAB. In various discussion forums, Octave seems to be 8-20 times as slow as MATLAB, especially if the code is iterative rather than vectorized. But we need better sources. Mange01 (talk) 08:42, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Trouble is you'd need an RS. FWIW 8-20 seems a bit on the high side, and you have to be VERY careful about which version of Matlab you are talking about, and which OS. etc. Anywya unless you can afford $20000 for a legal copy of Matlab what choice do you have? Greglocock (talk) 02:35, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
    • Well, it's original research, but true. When I had access to MATLAB I ran a Mandelbrot drawing program on a Linux box with 3.1 GHz dual core and 4 MByte RAM using Octave and on a Win XP computer with 1.5 GHz dual core and 2 MByte RAM. Even so, MATALB was running about 10 times faster than Octave. Unfortunately MATLAB is very expensive, so I am stuck with Octave (actually Qt Octave under Ubuntu Linux). SV1XV (talk) 17:43, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

QtOctave development end[edit]

I currently can't retrieve the referenced URL directly directly or via the WayBack Machine. --Gryllida 00:58, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

C does not have reference arguments either[edit]

The "Octave, the language" section says, "It is a structured programming language (similar to C) and supports many common C standard library functions, and also certain UNIX system calls and functions.[4] However, it does not support passing arguments by reference.[5]"

From what I understand, C also does not "support passing arguments by reference." I know C has pointers, and I used to think this meant it did support passing arguments by reference, but it doesn't. Pointers are values that just happen to point to memory locations; they are passed by value just like any other value. Truly "passing arguments by reference" would mean the subprocedure would be able to modify the caller's copy of the actual pointer itself, not just whatever happens to be located in memory where it points. C++ has a true call-by-reference feature, but ANSI C (at least) does not.

This is what I've learned (the hard way, in arguments with others). But I don't have a citation handy to back it up, so can anybody else find one? --BlueGuy213 (talk) 09:40, 12 September 2013 (UTC)