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I just noticed, of the tiny amount of donations they get for free software development, almost three quarters of it go to GNU Octave.

I feel a bit bad taking so much more money than Mailman and Replicant, which seem to me like more general-purpose projects than Octave.


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    A lot of good could come from Octave if it had wider adoption over Matlab. Huge amounts of scientific research. A specific example relevant to FSF’s mission would be prototyping alternative codecs for content that weren’t patented. We’ve seen more of that going on recently in commercial & OSS spaces. Plenty of mailer solutions with Mailman being quite mature. I agree on the spread of Replicant vs Octave being surprising given what work is probably involved in former.

    In any case, I suggest feeling gratitude instead. Double down on whatever might hold Matlab users back. Or any key capabilities from R, SciLab, etc. Just make the extra cash a good investment. :)

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      We use the cash for developer conferences and to complement our lead dev’s income. It’s not really much to support one full time dev. We really need a better way to fund Octave.

      My current plan is to ask Red Hat customers who also use Matlab to ask RH to support Octave. Then maybe RH will hire Octave developers. I don’t know, maybe this is a stupid idea, but it seems easier than trying to start an Octave business. Everyone’s afraid of competing toe-to-toe with The Mathworks. I’m not afraid, exactly, just that I would rather be hacking than running a company.

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        It’s a decent idea. Won’t hurt to try it.