Octave 5.x what's new

GNU Octave 5.0-rc1 was released 26 January 2019 for download. The GNU Octave yearly release schedule seems to be mostly on target.

The Octave 5 NEWS file shows numerous advances in plot quality and figure-saving options. HiDPI plotting is said to be significantly improved in Octave 5. Several other cleanups were made to functions, and several functions were deprecated and removed.

High density and complicated plots have been a pain-point in Octave 4.x. We often as not switch back to Matlab to output more complicated plots vs. Octave 4.4, so perhaps Octave 5 will allow better saving of complex plots right from Octave.

String class?

I didn’t see anything in NEWS about support of the Matlab string class that was fully introduced in Matlab R2017a. The lack of “string” class in Octave is a real annoyance for new code, or especially when an existing Matlab project uses string class. String class wasn’t on the Octave GSoC list either. Note: Octave documentation at least through 4.x and perhaps 5.x refers to “strings” but they are referring to “char” class in fact, which is the old, dumb character representation. The Matlab “string” class is quite powerful, akin to Python strings.