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Mike Miller

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+GNU Octave gets a mention in this survey of programming languages that #Python could learn some lessons from.

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Start making plans for coming to OctConf 2014, in Montréal, Canada for
the weekend of September 19 - September 21:

Keep your eyes on this wiki page as the details of the conference
start to coalesce, and let me know if you're planning on coming.

Montréal is a unique cultural experience, a mixture of languages and
peoples, and OctConf is itself another unique experience, where Octave
users and developers can come and discuss face-to-face the many
situations we face when using and developing Octave.

In the past, we have brought successful GSoC students to OctConf, and
we may do this again this year.

- Jordi G. H.
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The Octave developers are pleased to announce the release of
GNU Octave, version 3.8.1.

Version 3.8.1 is a bug fixing release.

One of the biggest new features for the Octave 3.8.x release series is
a graphical user interface. It is the one thing that users have
requested most often over the last few years and now it is almost
ready. But because it is not quite as polished as we would like, we
have decided to wait until the 4.0.x release series before making the
GUI the default interface (until then, you can use the --force-gui
option to start the GUI).

Given the length of time and the number of bug fixes and improvements
since the last major release Octave, we also decided against delaying
the release any longer. So please enjoy the 3.8.1 release of Octave and
the preview of the new GUI. We believe it is working reasonably well,
but we also know that there are some obvious rough spots and many
things that could be improved.

Please see for a more complete list of
significant user-visible changes in this release.

WE ALSO NEED YOUR HELP to fix the remaining problems, complete the
GUI, and improve the overall user experience for both novices and
experts alike:

   - If you are a skilled software developer, you can help by
     contributing your time to help with Octave's development.
     See for more info.

   - If Octave does not work properly, you are encouraged to report the
     problems you find.  Bug reporting guidelines are available at

   - Whether you are a user or developer, you can help to fund the
     project.  Octave development takes a lot of time and expertise.
     Your contributions help Octave continue to improve.  The Free
     Software Foundation's Working Together for Free Software campaign
     fund now accepts donations for Octave at

We hope you find Octave to be useful. Please help us make it even
better for the future!

The source code for Octave 3.8.1 is available for download at:

Please see for mirror sites around
the world.  Or you may use, which will
redirect automatically to a nearby mirror.

Links to binary (executable) versions for various systems will be
listed at as they become

As always, many people contributed to this Octave release.  A complete
list of contributors may be found in the Octave manual.

About Octave:

GNU Octave is a high-level interpreted language, primarily intended
for numerical computations.  It provides capabilities for the
numerical solution of linear and nonlinear problems and for
performing other numerical experiments.  It also provides extensive
graphics capabilities for data visualization and manipulation.  Octave
is normally used through its interactive command line interface, but
it can also be used to write non-interactive programs.  The Octave
language is quite similar to Matlab so that most programs are easily
portable.  A full description of Octave capabilities is available at
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Don't panic.
For anyone who's ever searched [what is the answer to life the universe and everything].... Today's interactive doodle wishes a happy birthday to writer and author of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" Douglas Adams with a number of references to his beloved books. Be sure to click around on to find them all—and if you have a favorite part of the doodle, tell us below.
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Thanks for this  #Linux  endorsement +Wil Wheaton. Good points all around: try a distro, it does Just Work these days, and try to be nice to newbs.
Hey, since it's #Linux 's  birthday sort of, how about some links to live CD images from a few distros why not?

Live CDs are neat. You put it into your machine, start up and boot from the CD. You get to run the Linux operating system of your choice without ever touching your existing system. When you get frustrated or bored, you simply restart and BAM you're back in familiar territory. If you really like it and want to make it your primary OS, you can do it right from the CD.

You can also use these to install and run Linux from a Virtual Machine, like Virtual Box on the Mac (

So here are a few, in alphabetical-don't-even-complain-to-me-about-the-order-or-if-your-preferred-distro-isnt-here-I-swear-to-jeebus order:





A quick note about Linux: I love it, and I find it very easy to use. However, it isn't for everyone, and an unfortunately large number of Linux users aren't the best ambassadors for the OS. Just ignore the holy wars about ... um ... well, everything, and don't engage someone who wants to scream about how you can recompile modules yourself and you're stupid if you don't. Yeah, it's awesome that you can modify your installation however you want ... but the vast majority of users don't want to do that, or care about it. They just want something that works, and I can tell you that -- unlike when I started with Linux in the 90s -- these days it Just Works. And it is awesome.

Existing Linux users: let's be good ambassadors in the comments, okay? Save the arguments about desktops and patent wars for some other time that never happens, why not.
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