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The Evolution of Scilab

Emerging in the 1980s, Scilab was the brainchild of François Delebecque and Serge Steer at the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation, or IRIA. This software, originally named Blaise, was designed for Computer-Aided Control System Design (CACSD).

As 1984 came around, Blaise evolved into Basile, and for a number of years, Simulog, the inaugural startup from the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (Inria), handled its distribution.

However, the 1990s brought changes. With Simulog ending its distribution of Basile, the software underwent another transformation, this time into Scilab, under the auspices of Inria. Driven by a modest but dedicated team of six researchers, Scilab—an abbreviation for "Scientific Laboratory"—continued to grow. Its advancement was fostered by contributions from a global pool of researchers and developers, affiliated with various research centers and academic institutions.

January 2, 1994, marked a significant milestone for Scilab. With the release of Scilab 1.1, the software became open-source, making it accessible to all. This shift had a clear objective: to provide a free, open, yet powerful computational environment to the scientific community.

As the years passed, Scilab's reputation solidified, garnering considerable support from companies and institutions. Thanks to its powerful numerical computation features and open-source nature, Scilab began to gain traction in the scientific community. It became a tool of choice for scientists, engineers, and students worldwide who were grappling with a diverse range of scientific and technical problems—from mathematical modeling and numerical analysis to signal processing and dynamic system simulation.

In 2003, to further the software's growth, the Scilab Consortium was founded within Inria. With the backing of multiple companies and institutions, the consortium formed partnerships with other organizations and academic institutions, fostering Scilab's global reach.

June 2017 saw another evolution. The founding of Scilab Enterprises marked a new era for the software. Assuming the mantle of Scilab's development, the company led the software into wider applications. Today, Scilab is a staple across numerous sectors, including science, industry, and services such as aerospace, automotive, energy, defense, finance, and transportation.

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