Octave 3.2.3 for Mac

Just a quick sidebar related to yesterday’s post: the latest version of Octave, version 3.2.3, has just been compiled for the Mac by the Octave-Forge people and made available as an easy-to-install standard Macintosh application that you just download and drag into your Applications folder. A a similar precompiled Gnuplot application—version 4.2.6, also the latest—is included in the download.

Last year, I wrote a post about configuring Octave and Gnuplot and using them from the command line. Everything I wrote in that post can still be applied to the new versions, but I have changed one aspect of my configuration. The actual executables are buried deeply within the app packages, and I used to have shell aliases,

alias octave=/Applications/Octave.app/Contents/Resources/bin/octave
alias gnuplot=/Applications/Gnuplot.app/Contents/Resources/bin/gnuplot

to make them easy to launch from the Terminal. I’ve since gotten rid of the aliases and made symbolic links to the executables,

ln -s /Applications/Octave.app/Contents/Resources/bin/octave ~/bin/octave
ln -s /Applications/Gnuplot.app/Contents/Resources/bin/gnuplot ~/bin/gnuplot

in my ~/bin/ directory, which is where I put all my self-written scripts and is in my $PATH. This means that tab completion on the octave and gnuplot names works in the bash shell and I can get scripts to run with a shebang line of

#!/usr/bin/env octave -q


#!/usr/bin/env gnuplot

at the top of the script.