## GNU Octave 3.0

Posted by squirreling on December 23, 2007

GNU Octave releases new version 3.0. Octave is a free open source Matlab-like command line tool. Works for Linux and OS X. Windows users will have to wait for the Cygwin or Octave Forge version to be updated to 3.0.

Octave 2.9 / 3.0 Features (from Octave FAQ)

- integer types
- fixed point arithmetic
- sparse matrices
- Linear programming code based on GLPK
- 64-bit compilation support
- gzipped files and stream and consequently support of matlab v7 files
- better support for both msvc and mingw
- a fully compatiable MEX interface
- many many other minor features and compatibility changes

Compare this to Sage (University of Washington’s open source Matlab alternative)

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## William Stein said

Since you asked to compare Octave to Sage:

integer types — Sage has very optimized support for GMP integers and rationals

fixed point arithmetic — Sage has arbitrary precision fixed point arithmetic via MPFR, along with quaddouble support, and interval arithmetic via MPFI.

sparse matrices — Sage has exact sparse matrices, and some numerical sparse matrix capabilities via arpack/scipy.

Linear programming code based on GLPK — Sage includes CVXOPT for optimization

64-bit compilation support — Sage also compiles in 64-bit mode on Linux.

gzipped files and stream and consequently support of matlab v7 files — not in Sage.

better support for both msvc and mingw — Sage has no native Windows support yet, though this is in progress.

a fully compatiable MEX interface — not in Sage

One can use Octave from Sage, for example:

sage: r = octave(‘rand(3);’)

sage: r

0.913614 0.151876 0.782552

0.532764 0.54248 0.206623

0.808619 0.492113 0.632223

sage: r.eig()

(1.76629,0)

(0.161013,0.0780747)

(0.161013,-0.0780747)

Most of the Matlab-like functionality in Sage is available because numpy and scipy are included in Sage.