Scilab Histroy – from the beginnings until today

Development of Scilab started in France in the 80’s. The initial software was named Blaise (probably after Blaise Pascal) and it was developed by the the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA).

The table below will summarise the years, milestones in Scilab development, and the people/companies involved in this project.

WhenWhatWho
1982Development of BlaiseFrançois Delebecque and Serge Steer (Theosys team), directed by Alain Bensoussan, developed a scientific software package
Claude Lemarechal (optimization routines)
Americo Marrocco (graphics routines)
Carey Bunks (signal processing)
1984Blaise becomes BasileSimulog (first INRIA startup) distributes Basile
1990Scilab is releasedDevelopped by Scilab Group:
Jean-Philippe Chancelier (from ENPC)
François Delebecque, Claude Gomez, Maurice Goursat, Ramine Nikoukhah and Serge Steer (from INRIA)
2003Scilab under Scilab ConsortiumThe mission of Scilab Consortium, created by INRIA, is to develop, maintain, support and promote Scilab
2008Scilab unde DigiteoThe Scilab Consortium is integrated in the Digiteo research network
2010Scilab under Scilab EnterprisesThe company Scilab Enterprises, founded in June 2010, with the support of INRIA takes the further development of Scilab stating with July 2012

Former versions of Scilab GUI were based on Tk/Tcl language. Starting with Scilab 5, in 2005, the Scilab Consortium developed Scilab based on Java. This is the moment when the software development is divided in two branches, managed by different organisations:

  • Scilab, developed by Scilab Consortium
  • ScicosLab, developed by ENPC (Metalau project team)

You can download and install two similar software packages:

  • Scilab with Xcos, based on Java
  • ScicosLab with Scicos, based on Tk/Tcl

I have installed both Scilab 5.4.0 Beta 1 and ScicosLab 4.4.1. From the graphical point of view Scilab looks better but, if you plan to use the block modeling environment (Xcos), you might have a look at Scicos too. Scicos seems faster and more stable than Xcos.

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