Contributing to Octave Forge
GNU Octave (a.k.a. Octave core) provides the core language, while Octave Forge provides packages for it. For example, the image, control, signal, and statistics packages are part of Octave Forge.
For contributions to Octave core please see its Octave Developers Page. To contribute to Octave Forge, please read on.
Contributing to existing packages
- Clone the package;
- Create a patch;
- Submit it to the correct tracker: the bug tracker if it fixes a bug, otherwise the patch tracker.
For more details on these steps, see below.
Cloning a package
Creating a patch
After cloning the most recent version of the package, make your desired changes to the package code. Once all changes are complete, in the main package folder:
- Update the working directory;
- Commit changes;
- Export the changes to a patch file.
See more details in the Basics of Generating a Changeset of the Octave manual.
Submitting a patchSubmission the same for both types of repository and identical to the process for Octave core. Submit the patch to either the patch tracker or the bug tracker, and wait for it to be reviewed. Another option is to host a clone of the package wherever desired and request a pull on the patch tracker. It is also possible to submit a simple patch or a new modified file but that greatly increases the review and acceptance time.
Contributing new packages
If you want to contribute with a new package, mention this on the Octave maintainers mailing list.
Making a package release
The details are very much dependent on the structure of the package.
- bump the Version number and Release date in the package DESCRIPTION file, update the NEWS and INDEX file, and the version in configure.ac file. Commit with "maint: release x.y.z"
tag the commit with
hg tag "release-x.y.z"
- run any bootstrap or autogen.sh script in the package.
produce a tarball of the package and take note of its md5 checksum:
$ cd your-package-directory $ hg archive --exclude '.hg*' somewhere/pkgname-x.y.z.tar.gz $ md5sum somewhere/pkgname-x.y.z.tar.gz
test everything worked fine by installing the generated tarball
> pkg install somewhere/pkgname-x.y.z.tar.gz
make sure you have the latest version of the generate_html package
> pkg install -forge generate_html
generate the function reference HTML files with the command
> pkg load generate_html > generate_package_html ("pkgname", "pkgname-html", "octave-forge")
produce a tarball of the HTML, take note of its checksum and encode it with uuencode
$ tar cvzf pkgname-html.tar.gz pkgname-html $ md5sum pkgname-html.tar.gz
- Post the package, html docs and md5 checksums to the package release tracker asking for review and upload it on the server. Once it's accepted, an Octave Forge admin will upload it and make an announcement on the mailing list.
For more information
- The Octave Wiki has a detailed page about developing for Octave using Mercurial, including a simple description of Mercurial queues.
- The Octave Wiki also contains detailed commit message guidelines.
There is a wealth of useful information in the GNU
Octave documentation. In particular,
- Appendix B describes the creation of test and demo functions,
- Appendix C offers tips and standards on writing clean code, and
- Appendix D, while primarily aimed at Octave core developers, gives good information on creating source files and changesets (patches). It also describes the use of Mercurial queues.
- The Octave-maintainers mailing list is another potential source of information for developers. Please only use this list if participating in Octave development.
Octave Forge was originally an Octave distribution. There were no individual packages and everything was a single repository, with everything released at the same time. The original distribution had 3 parts: main, extra, and non-free. An extra directory in the repository was also available for admin.
This became unmanageable which led to the creation of individual packages, released at different times as each package manager saw fit. They were still all under a single giant SVN repository (although with SVN one can easily clone only a subdirectory).
The non-free section was eventually removed, and two requesites were added for inclusion of code in Octave Forge: a GPL compatible license and non-dependency on GPL incompatibility code.
With the increase of use of distributed version control systems, packages were slowly removed from the SVN repository and moved into individual Mercurial repositories. Not all packages have migrated, but only older packages, usually unmaintained, exist there now.