News from

The current design of the main Octave website

was created back between November 2015 and February 2016 by Alex Krolick and got finally online about one year later in November 2016. The sources are freely hosted on With kind support by @jwe, @mtmiller, Jordi, and some others via the mailing-list, I managed the maintenance of the website since then (e.g. release announcements, URL updates, text revisions after changes, etc.).

Today, I overhauled the website style “under the hood”. This shall mean if you do not notice any severe style changes, I did a good job :wink:

In particular the changes are:

  • Update from Foundation Framework from v5.5.3 (October 2015) to v6.6.3 (April 2020) to improve compatibility with latest browsers.
  • Remove old versions of normalize.css and modernizr.js, as they are partially included in the Foundation framework.
  • To facilitate future Foundation (and JQuery as dependency) updates and decrease the sometimes slow traffic by using the CDN for style-sheets (CSS) and javascript (JS).
  • Reduce the usage of fancy Foundation (especially JS) features, e.g. the Download page no longer uses tabs and they were removed from the landing page (which was quite overloaded).
  • Reduce custom CSS to a minimum.
  • Use Markdown wherever possible.
  • Revisit several website page text.

The goals of the current website design are:

  • Simple, but modern look: On all devices (HiDPI screens, Tablets, Smartphones).
  • No JavaScript: Even with JS disabled, the website shall look good and be fully accessable.
  • Easy to maintain: Reading and updating Markdown is much easier, than working inside HTML <div>-jungles. Updated to latest changes.

That’s all for now. If you find anything suspicious, please leave a comment below :point_down:

The new design looks good to me and I’m definitely in favor of having it be easier to maintain.

I noticed that now the front page layout is slightly different, with everything now aligned on the left in my browser (Firefox on Debian). Also, the items in the bulleted lists break across multiple lines when the paragraph text does not. Is that intentional?

The small font used in the paragraph before the bulleted lists on the Support page looks strange to me.


@jwe Can you upload a screenshot? In my Firefox (openSUSE 15.2) it looks “normal” (to my understanding :innocent:).


Here’s what I see with Firefox 68.5.0esr (64-bit) on a Debian testing system:

I see, this looks ugly indeed. Do you have some scaling or special font settings? Does maybe “CTRL + F5” help, if there are some old cached files?

I was checking on a MS Windows Edge and macOS Safari browser to get the same problem, but they all look right :thinking:

I don’t see the same with Firefox 68.10.0esr on Debian, nor with Firefox 78 or Chrome 84.

@mtmiller I indented the line and use the same font as in the bulleted list. Is it okay with you?

The display problem I had seems to be related to font size. I was using FreeSans 18 as the default font. Switching to anything smaller, even 17(!) and it displayed as expected.

I had no particular reason to set the default size set to 18 so for now I have just selected a smaller size.

Strangely, if I increase the font size to 32 or above, the display goes back to wrapped instead of all left aligned! Weird.

@jwe Thanks, now I can replicate this issue on my own Firefox too. I work on this and report back. It should work for (some) different font settings too.

@jwe I hope to finally made the website “more beautiful” for you, Firefox, and different font size settings. If you press CTRL+F5 you reload the website and clear the page cache. :broom:

The bottom line of the problem seemed to be, that I added a small margin around the content. That confused the Foundation framework’s cell alignment computations :woozy_face:

It looks good now at my original font size setting. Thanks!

Some changes to the website again. In summary:

  • less JavaScript
  • more FontAwesome icons
  • top navigation with less links (- docs, - news) and no fancy JavaScript folding
  • overhauled some pages

If you find anything suspicious, please leave a comment below :point_down:

The new design looks good to me.

Could we change the line on the bugs page that says

If the function exists in Matlab , but not in core Octave and not in an Octave package , that is a bug.

to say instead

… that is also not a bug, but you may file a feature request for it on the bug tracker. Please be aware that it might take several months …

Thanks for the comment. I hope the new formulation raises less expectations of a feature request:

Yes, thanks, I think that is better now.