MEX Support in Octave

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matlab mex octave computing science

I used to be a fairly heavily Octave user, but when I started my PhD I had to use MATLAB for some specific toolboxes. I found this quite annoying, because I think MATLAB is big, and slow, and clunky (and leaks memory). So I’m quite happy to report that I think that this might be about to change.

On December 21 2007, Octave 3 was released. Now, I’m not sure if this is relevant to this post, but it did prompt me to upgrade, and since I was playing with some MEX (MATLAB external interface) files, I decided to see if I could make them work with Octave.

Well, I could. And that’s the cool thing – I didn’t have to change anything. I just typed mex morpho.cpp and out popped an object file. There was no fuss at all, and no difference from MATLAB. I think this is a really good development for Octave, as it plugs what I’ve always found to be a fairly big gap between Octave and MATLAB’s functionality. I’ll be trying this with some of my other MEX stuff, and I’ll report back here with any new findings – I’m expecting it all to go fairly smoothly though!