Availability of Scilab 6.0.0 alpha 2
Today we are happy to announce the second alpha version of Scilab 6.0, the major future release of the open source platform for numerical computation.
This release is a preview for developers, partners and community evaluation.
It can be downloaded from the Scilab 6.0.0 Alpha 2 download page.
This release brings improvements to the 6.0.0 Alpha 1, released earlier this year, including a few additional functionalities. We don't forsee any further alpha version.
• A full-featured debugger, with ability to run Scilab scripts or functions step-by-step, to put (conditional) breakpoint, in particular break only when an exception is set... has been added. Run "help debug" for more information.
• A new profiler and coverage tool has been added. It replaces the "profile" function (which is still there but not working, and will be removed in the final release). It produces HTML report for the time spent (profile) on each line. It is not documented yet; the names of the functions are not finalized, but feedback is welcome on the usability. Also, it is known not to work on Xcos, and probably does not work well on complex code.
• A "lint"-like command, slint, has been added, for code static analysis: it detects unclear, risky or suspicious code. It is not documented yet, however.
The debugger/profiler-coverage/lint may or may not be present in the final 6.0 public release.
Several important parts of the platform are not functional in this alpha:
• Xcos is only minimally functional. The schema editor is working for creating, editing and saving schemas, although some features are not working ("region to superblock"; complex linking using spits; editing blocks that use Scilab) but they should report clean errors. The simulator is still not usable, so simulations cannot work. This is mostly to get feedback on loading existing schemas; please report issues you get.
• Extending Scilab with ATOMS modules is working, but only very few ATOMS modules currently on http://atoms.scilab.org/ have been ported to Scilab 6, so it has only limited use.
As an alpha, this release is not yet ready for production usage. If you are new to Scilab, or if you are simply a user of Scilab, you should probably continue using the 5.5.2 release, and wait for a beta version before trying the 6 family.
However, if you have already developed code on Scilab, or if you are an experienced user, then you should start looking at this release. Please try the work you have done on earlier releases of Scilab with this version: checking for compatibility may save you time later. If you find bugs or incompatibilities, please report them on our Bug Tracker: this will help get a better product, faster, which ultimately will be benefit you too.