## Octave and Gnuplot Coming To Android 84

Posted
by
Soulskill

from the for-all-your-mobile-steam-cycle-efficiency-needs dept.

from the for-all-your-mobile-steam-cycle-efficiency-needs dept.

New submitter MathIsTasty writes

*"Recently, it was announced on the Octave-maintainers list that a Kickstarter campaign has been launched to bring Matlab style numerical computations and graphing to Android via a 'more than' port of Octave and gnuplot. While I doubt it will be as successful as some recent games on Kickstarter, is this a reasonable way to fund free software development? Now, we just have to worry about people working on simulating solar irradiation while driving. Here is a good blog post about the project."*
## gnuplot? (Score:1)

So my Droid will look like Texas Instruments calculator? Awesome

## ... that cost at least $50,000 ? (Score:2)

Going for kickstarter is one thing

Asking for donation of

at least $50,000.00just to port free software onto Android is another## Re: (Score:2)

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Not big money? That's more than most of us make in a year, before taxes.

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Not big money? That's more than most of us make in a year, before taxes.

According to the timeline on the kickstarter page, the project will run until "Fall 2013", so the equivalent pre-tax annual income would be more like $35,000. I'd say that's pretty cheap for an experienced developer.

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Wow, your post got Thomas Jefferson spinning in his grave so fast that Japan is offering to buy him to replace their decommissioned nuclear reactors. Congrats, you saved Japan!

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## Re:... that cost at least $50,000 ? (Score:4, Insightful)

"I know guys: Octave runs natively in Linux, and Android is just Linux. This will be totally easy! In fact, I'll download the source files tonight, whip up a custom build script with one hand while downing a Mountain Dew with the other, and have it done tomorrow."

But as any Android developer will tell you, taking something that runs on a Linux desktop and getting it on Android - making it function properly, getting it to look good, and getting it to interface with the Android UI - it really hard, tedious work. Testing on all the different Android platforms out there alone could keep someone occupied for a year. Is it really so outlandish to ask for some money for the work? $50k will get you a quality software engineer for about half a year (salary + benefits + office overhead). It's not that much.

I may just donate for the hell of it - and I use iOS and Matlab on a daily basis.

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But as any Android developer will tell you, taking something that runs on a Linux desktop and getting it on Android - making it function properly, getting it to look good, and getting it to interface with the Android UI - it really hard, tedious work.Sounds like a good reason not to use Android.

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Sounds like a great reason not to use such a phone. As far as I can tell, Maemo 5 hasn't been surpassed by anyone, and isn't going to be any time soon.

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You have a pretty poor imagination.

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Asking for donation of at least $50,000.00 just to port free software onto Android is another

Did you read the list of deliverables near the top of the project page [kickstarter.com]? I wouldn't agree to do that lot for $50,000. Then again, if anyone reckons it's outrageous, they could always set up a Kickstarter with the same deliverables and, say, a $5,000 goal. Or $500, $50, whatever you think is reasonable.

And, of course, the nice thing about Kickstarter is that it's voluntary. Nobody's forcing you and me to pay, even though we'll reap the benefits if it gets funded. If everyone agrees that it's a rip-off, it won

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## Too bad it wasn't SciPy (Score:5, Informative)

I have been a long time Matlab, but have always been frustrated with licensing issues etc.

So I have tried replacing Matlab with Octave and SciLab a couple of times, but they both feels more cumbersome to use.

About a year ago, I tried Python with the modules Numpy and SciPy, and it just completely smokes the competitors. It is much more enjoyable to work with, so people should really give it a go, it if hard work to get used to something new, but with Python, you will not be disappointed. You can get some nice inspiration of what is possible in the 3rd party documentation SciPy-Lectures:

http://scipy-lectures.github.com/

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> but they both feels more cumbersome to use.

What exactly is more cumbersome to use on Octave (compared to Matlab) what isnt cumbersome in SciPy (compared to Matlab)?

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Matlab < Octave: price and licensing; libreadline

Matlab > Python: lots of syntactic sugar (array slicing, matrix concatenation, 1-based indexing (if you are a mathematician that's the standard) --- in general, matrix stuff is much shorter to write in Matlab); hassle-free BLAS/LAPACK integration

Matlab < Python: price and licensing; Python is a real programmin

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Mostly agree, but NumPy arrays do have slicing (however much you may not like zero-indexed, exclusive-on-the-right indexing):

In [8]: a = np.array([[1,2,3],[4,5,6],[7,8,9]])

In [9]: a[0,:]Out[9]: array([1, 2, 3])

In [10]: a[0:2,:]Out[10]:

array([[1, 2, 3],

[4, 5, 6]])

In [11]: a[0:2,0:2]

Out[11]:

array([[1, 2],

[4, 5]])

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I jumped from Matlab to Scipy/Numpy, skipped Octave, but I'm so happy with Scipy/Numpy that I wouldn't consider using Octave.

From a purely numerics point of view, I'm sure Octave has all the features that Scipy/Numpy has. Most of the benefits of Scipy/Numpy come from the Python programming language itself, which I have to assume is much more developed than Octave's language. Being able to write GUIs for your scientific apps using tkinter (or some other library) or reading/writing to excel formats directly o

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PS:

The point of Python being a "real language" doesnt apply...

Yes it does. It allows you to do something useful with your numerical codes. Maybe not needed for academia, but certainly for other industries.

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As a happy 15+year plus octave user, let me say that a lot of that is a matter of what you are familiar with. I find matlab's 'integrated editor' and lack of *nix readline facilities absolutely unbearable, for example.

This 'cumbersome' is not too unlike the situation that a windows user will claim GNU/linux is cumbersome to use, whereas I find windows unbearable. Basically, a matter of familiarity; blaming octave for that is unfair, IMO.

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I've tried several times to migrate to Octave, but it's still just not good enough of a "MATLAB-clone" to really replace MATLAB for my purposes. I run MATLAB through EMACS matlab-mode, so I don't care about the editor or GUI.

What keeps me away from Octave is:

1) MATLAB is much faster at solving most problems.

2) Much of the capability available in Mathworks supported toolboxes is missing from Octave.

3) Handle graphics capabilities are now available in Octave, but lag far behind MATLAB. I don't write MATLAB

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However, in most engineering R&D environments, MATLAB support is important for collaboration, and here is where Octave could be useful were it more comparable to MATLAB.

Have you tried the recent-ish 3.6 release? I gather that it's made major improvements in Matlab compatibility. I'm interested because I'm going to be working on some Matlab stuff soon, and am wondering whether I could get away with porting it to Octave.

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1) MATLAB is much faster at solving most problems.

This is a pretty major issue of your working with non-trivial amounts of data (e.g. image processing). One of the main reasons for this is that the current version of Octave is only single-threaded; it can't take advantage of the extra cores that even modern phones have. Apparently multi-threading can be enabled by recompiling it, but that's a fairly large demand for the average user...

## What does it cost .... (Score:2, Offtopic)

To get your kickstarter project slashvertised? Is this ethical?

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## Octave Clone for Android already there (Score:5, Informative)

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## Gimme an R! (Score:2)

R (www.r-project.org) is my elixir

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I heard of a story of an intern who wrote one awesome analytical software for one of the major (multi-billion) web company using R

Dunno if that story is true or not

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It wasn't me... :(

Too bad, I guess ;)

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Well ... it :/

couldbe you, if you become an intern, again## Re: (Score:2)

How much RAM is in your Android tablet?

## What's a good free calculator for Android? (Score:1)

I'm teaching hi school math (in Denmark), and I hate forcing (or trying to force) my students into buying TI calculators at monopoly prices.

What's the best calc for android that would do the following:

* Enter mathematical expressions (showing the full expression) and evaluating them

* Making scatterplots

* Plotting graphs, and fitting functions to data points (linear, power law and exponential required)

* Preferably plotting histograms, sum curves etc.

Best if the program is free, without too many frills, and a

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FTW!) in a weird cross-breed of apl and basic.

GOTO FTW.

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## my N900 runs R, numpy, matplotlib (Score:4, Interesting)

Now, we just have to worry about people working on simulating solar irradiation while driving.

Been there. I have an N900 that runs R, numpy, matplotlib. Handy for computing when I can't sit on the bus or subway.

## Good news ! (Score:2)

## Slashdot here's your chance (Score:2)

I just backed this project after reading this article. It would help if Slashdot editors can regularly promote crowdfunded Open-source projects as a feature, or type of article.

Personally, I'd love to hear about other open-source projects when they make it to Kickstarter.

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## Remote Analysis, local visualization (Score:2)

## Great news! Too bad no iOS version... (Score:1)

As a mathematician and hobbyist iOS developer, it really sucks that so much great mathematics software is GPLed. You can't port Octave, for example, to the iPad as its license is incompatible with Apples terms. I'd love to see this kind of stuff on my iPad. I'd even write it myself! But nope... A few great non-GPLed mathematics packages that have made their way into the iOS ecosystem. There's a Reduce implementation, for example, that looks really nice.

And while I'm rambling (sorry), LaTeX on mobile is just

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I don't know the legal ins and outs. It sure does seem stupid to me.

Hint: If it sounds stupid to you, it probably is. Go with your gut until proven otherwise! (and if you have time, read up a little about it -- you're a mathematician, so reading legal code shouldn't daunt you in the slightest :-)

But the fact is, iPads and iPhones have a significant market share and are otherwise great products.

Yes, Apple products have a very large marketshare.

Yes, Apple products have some great designs and have some great integration features.

BUT, there are detractions such as these. Big detractions, I think we can all agree.

I want to write software for it

indeed -- I think it's just human (geeky) nature to hack on thin

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As a mathematician and hobbyist iOS developer, it really sucks that so much great mathematics software is GPLed. You can't port Octave, for example, to the iPad as its license is incompatible with Apples terms.

... or, to look at it from a slightly different viewpoint, it really sucks that Apple have chosen to make their terms incompatible with the GPL.

## I am the developer, fire away with your questions (Score:1)

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Thank you for doing this.

Are there any plans to enable access to the sensors on the phone through Ocatave scripts run on the phone?

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Thanks! I donated.

## N900? (Score:4, Informative)

Wait, what? I had gnuplot and octave on my N900. Two years ago. Gees, bit slow there android.