Developers needed

We are in need of an new active developer/administrator for SIP. If you are interested please sign up to the developers mailing list and present yourself. I am not leaving SIP development, but will help manage it and participate.

Unfortunately, since I moved to the USA I could not find any time to significantly work on SIP. The main reason is that I have not been using Scilab for my own research, so there is no way I could spare time for it. I like my new research group very much, but they don't rely on Scilab as much as my old group. So it is a very slow process to get them to know it and eventually use it.

We currently work with C++ using http://vxl.sf.net for image processing. Since C++ is way more time-consuming to program than Scilab for most numerical computing, I am trying to convince people (specially my advisor) to take a glance at Scilab. And in the process I have to tell them why Scilab and not Matlab, the advantages of open source, etc. It would be nice to gather stories of Matlab to Scilab migration around the world, and how to convince people to do it. One thing people always complain is that Scilab is not GPL. People are very paranoid about this. I was informed that Scilab 4.0 is planned to have a new license, GPL or LGPL. That is very good news. (it is taking long because some code is having to be rewritten to be GPL-compatible).

Anyway, I am currently only passively supporting the SIP Unix SOURCE version. The rest I simply cannot touch for now. I've been extremely busy, and finally realized I am going to be like this at least for the near future. I just cannot do everything (home page, binary packages, documentation, review contributions, give support, etc).

Frankly it is quite hard to achieve the same level of quality and productivity we used to have in SIP a year ago. We need a careful solution that guarantees no loss of quality. On the other hand the project cannot be stalled forever.

Recently, I was asked:

> We really need to have a Windows version of SIP for Scilab 3.0 and
> more. Do you plan to have one?

I started one but cannot finalize it myself, at least for the next few months. Whenever I work on SIP it is either for support (of the unix version) or for actual coding of image processing and writing documentation. I was able to port SIP for windows using MinGW (www.mingw.org). It actually works, but requires so many tricks and hacks, that I did not have time to find a way to actually make a windows install executable that would smoothly install on all windows versions (from 95 to XP). Each windows version needs its own tweaks for e.g. locating DLLs and imagemagick configuration files. As I don't program nor use windows, it is hard to find time for this.

Anyway, I have detailed documentation on my (hacky) windows port and can provide it for anybody upon request. I might soon provide a webpage on this.

Posted by Ricardo Fabbri 2005-06-08

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