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Has anybody used both of these programs? How do they compare? Is Octave a good substitute for Matlab? How similar are the programing languages?...
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  1. #1
    Linux Newbie Max2009's Avatar
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    [SOLVED] GNU Octave vs. Matlab


    Has anybody used both of these programs? How do they compare?
    Is Octave a good substitute for Matlab?
    How similar are the programing languages?
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  2. #2
    Linux Engineer GNU-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max2009 View Post
    Has anybody used both of these programs?
    That would be me.

    How do they compare?
    Matlab is proprietary software, GNU Octave is free software.
    Matlab has a more sophisticated GUI, and it executes nested loops
    much faster than Octave.

    Is Octave a good substitute for Matlab?
    It's the best free software for that kind of job I know.
    I rarely have to employ Matlab.
    There are workarounds, for example, the slow loops can be replaced by precompiled modules written in C.
    It's more a question of convenience -- as always

    How similar are the programing languages?
    Very much. Octave has a few extensions, like you can write "a++" instead of writing "a = a+1". I usually have more work to port Octave -> Matlab than the other way around But it's not much work and often they run without changes.
    Debian GNU/Linux -- You know you want it.

  3. #3
    Linux Newbie Max2009's Avatar
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    I know that Matlab is proprietary software and that Octave is free, that's why I'm interested.
    I'm taking a course where we occasionally need to do assignments in Matlab.
    I don't feel like shelling out money for a program I will only use for a single semester.
    If I do my assignments in Octave and submit the octave code, will the checker be able to tell that I didn't use Matlab?
    I know that at the end of the day the plotted graphs and output variables will be the same, but they insist that we submit our code too...
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  5. #4
    Linux Engineer GNU-Fan's Avatar
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    Well, in an ideal world you could go to your teacher and tell him/her that you don't want to be forced to use proprietary software just to do your coursework. In such a world, the answer you would get is "Oh, I didn't think of this. Yes, it is fine if you send me the solutions you worked out in Octave. After all, the course is about understanding the algorithms, not how to use a particular software."

    But more likely the answer is that the learner/checker doesn't deem anything other than the solutions he prepared years ago as correct.

    What I did when I attended such a course was to work out the solution in Octave and do the final testing for compatibility on the institute's computers, where Matlab was installed. So I could make sure I didn't oversee any compatibility issues. But there hardly where any.
    Debian GNU/Linux -- You know you want it.

  6. #5
    Linux Newbie Max2009's Avatar
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    Why oh why don't we live in an ideal world?
    Very little compatibility issues you say? I'll try that.
    Thanks.
    Cogito ergo surf - I think therefore I network.

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