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[project @ 1997-05-16 03:37:32 by jwe]
author jwe
date Fri, 16 May 1997 03:37:38 +0000
parents a65b62d2f630
children 91589ab98e37
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Octave -- a high-level language for numerical computations.

Copyright (C) 1996, 1997 John W. Eaton

Last updated: Tue Dec 10 01:41:30 1996


Octave is a high-level language, primarily intended for numerical
computations.  It provides a convenient command line interface for
solving linear and nonlinear problems numerically.

Octave is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option) any
later version.

Octave is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or


The latest released version of Octave is always available via
anonymous ftp from in the directory /pub/octave.
Complete source and binaries for several popular systems are

Installation and Bugs

Octave requires approximately 125MB of disk storage to unpack and
compile from source (significantly less if you don't compile with
debugging symbols or create shared libraries).  Once installed, Octave
requires approximately 65MB of disk space (again, considerably less if
you don't build shared libraries or the binaries and libraries do not
include debugging symbols).

In order to build Octave, you will need a current version of g++,
libg++, and GNU make.  Recommended versions are

  g++ 2.7.2 or
  libg++ 2.7.1 or 2.7.2
  make 3.75

features of GNU Make that are not present in other versions of make.
GNU Make is very portable and easy to install.

See the notes in the files INSTALL and INSTALL.OCTAVE for more
specific installation instructions, including directions for
installing Octave from a binary distribution.

The file BUGS contains a recommended procedure for reporting bugs, as
well as a list of known problems and possible fixes.


Octave's manual has been revised for version 2.0, but it is lagging a
bit behind the development of the software.  In particular, there is
currently no complete documentation of the C++ class libraries or the
support for dynamic linking and user-defined data types.  If you
notice ommissions or inconsistencies, please report them as bugs to  Specific suggestions for ways to
improve Octave and its documentation are always welcome.


Octave is being developed with the Free Software Foundation's make,
bison (a replacement for YACC), flex (a replacement for lex), gcc/g++,
and libg++ on an Intel Pentium 133 system running Debian Linux/GNU.
It should be possible to install it on any machine that runs GCC/G++.
It may also be possible to install it using other implementations of
these tools, but it will most certainly require much more work.  Do
yourself a favor and get the GNU development tools, either via
anonymous ftp from or by writing the Free Software
Foundation, 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

The underlying numerical solvers are currently standard Fortran ones
like Lapack, Linpack, Odepack, the Blas, etc., packaged in a library
of C++ classes (see the files in the libcruft and liboctave
subdirectories).  If possible, the Fortran subroutines are compiled
with the system's Fortran compiler, and called directly from the C++
functions.  If that's not possible, they are translated with f2c and
compiled with a C compiler.  Better performance is usually achieved if
the intermediate translation to C is avoided.

The library of C++ classes may also be useful by itself.

Additional Information

Up to date information about Octave is available on the WWW at the
URL, including archives of the
help-octave, bug-octave, and octave-sources mailing lists.

John W. Eaton
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of Chemical Engineering