Octave is a high-level language, primarily intended for numerical computations
Extra packages for GNU Octave can be find in Octave-Forge. They are comparable like toolboxes in Matlab. Some may be find in AUR: AUR. For those who don't exist in AUR, you got two options.
1. Feel free to build an PKGBUILD for the missing extra package. (recommended & costlier)
2. Download the tar.gz package from Octave-Forge and install it directly with octave. (Just a userspace installation)
octave:1> pkg install package_file_name.tar.gz
There are several ways to read Microsoft Excel files with Octave.
Open the xls/xlsx file with LibreOffice (Is limited to 1024 Columns!)/CalligraOffice (Is limited to 32768 Columns)/... and save/export it as a .csv file. Octave-core has a built-in function called csvread.
Otherwise you can save/export as .ods file, and import it with octave using theAUR package.
Another try if Office Suits are failing isAUR from AUR to convert the xlsx file to csv file.
xlsx2csv -t where/to/save/ -x mylousy.xlsx
Reading directly xls file with Octave
If converting to .csv/.ods is no option, or don't work, Octave is able to read xls files usingAUR package. But xlsread function is needing java.
pacman -S jdk7-openjdk jre7-openjdk jre7-openjdk-headless
And while octave have to use java, you'll need Octave-Java too.
octave:4> pkg install java-1.2.8.tar.gz
Finaly, octave-java searches in a wrong folder for libjvm.so
sudo mkdir /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk/jre/lib/amd64/client sudo ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk/jre/lib/amd64/server/libjvm.so /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk/jre/lib/amd64/client/libjvm.so
Checking if java is working correct in octave, compare the following output
octave:4> javaclasspath STATIC JAVA PATH - empty - DYNAMIC JAVA PATH - empty -
Now you'll need Java XLS Libraries. Take one of this: http://octave.org/wiki/index.php?title=IO_package#Required_support_software_2 (recommended poi)
These are the differences: http://octave.org/wiki/index.php?title=IO_package#Comparison_of_interfaces_.26_usage
To load one of them in octave
octave:5> javaaddpath path/to/file.jar
To check if it works
return should be > 0
0 No spreadsheet I/O support found ---------- XLS (Excel) interfaces: ---------- 1 = COM (ActiveX / Excel) 2 = POI (Java / Apache POI) 4 = POI+OOXML (Java / Apache POI) 8 = JXL (Java / JExcelAPI) 16 = OXS (Java / OpenXLS) --- ODS (OpenOffice.org Calc) interfaces ---- 32 = OTK (Java/ ODF Toolkit) 64 = JOD (Java / jOpenDocument) ----------------- XLS & ODS: ---------------- 128 = UNO (Java / UNO bridge - OpenOffice.org)
Now you can try to read xls files with
Maybe it works, may be not... :)