Other Software Resources

NotepadPlusPlus (Text Editor)

Notepad++ is an all-round text editor for basic coding (R, Python, Java, C, Perl, …), markdown/html editing and many many (not a typo) more. Alternatives for Notepad++ are, for example, Atom (cross-platform), Vim (Linux) or GNU Emacs (Linux).

Libre Office (MS Office alternative)

Office software such as LibreOffice or Microsoft’s Excel is required for some of the analyses described on these pages.

GNU Octave (Matlab® alternative)

Matlab® is nowadays established as one of the leading tools in science and engineering. However, license fees and its proprietary nature limit the use of Matlab® to privileged entities and users. The good news is that there is a remedy in the shape of GNU Octave. GNU Octave and Matlab® use very similar syntax and .m files can be run with both programs. If error messages occur by running a .m file with GNU Octave, make sure to load relevant packages at the top of the script (this is one of the major differences between GNU Octave and Matlab®). For example:

pkg load io
# ... some script with console output
pkg unload io

All stable GNU Octave packages can be found on their website. To install one of these packages, open GNU Octave and type in the command window:

pkg install -forge new_package  # installs the package
pkg load new_package  # loads the package in the active session

Afterward, the new package can be loaded anytime by just typing in pkg load new_package. For example, the following code snippet installs and loads the video package:

pkg install -forge video
pkg load video


Python provides comes with many more options for data processing and analyses. So instead of trying to tweak Matlab® code, consider reading and using the Python tutorial with its NumPy library descriptions. The tutorial also highlights the differences between *Matlab*® and *Python*’s *NumPy*) notation.

MATLAB® is a registered trademark of The MathWorks.