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Octave On MacOSX

From: Thomas Treichl
Subject: Octave On MacOSX
Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2007 19:54:41 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (Macintosh/20061207)

Dear Joe,

thank you very much for your comments. I'd like to keep this README file up-to-date as like my MacOSX. You told me that there is an old Wiki page there, so I could also write my compilation experiences to the Wiki. This is more a question to the maintainers:
Do they want to add the README file to the source and accept patches to keep it alive, or should I modify the Wiki page? Doing the same job twice does not make any sense to me.

My general comment is that Apple changes OS X and Xcode Developer Tools
frequently, and the instructions that worked today don't necessarily work
tomorrow. There have been times, especially soon after new OS X major
releases (10.2.0,10.3.0 and 10.4.0), that building of open source codes was
impossible. Typically, by about 10.x.6, the kinks are worked out and things
begin to work again.

Okay, thanks, I'm very new to the MacOSX (just 30days ;o). That's why my Mac is so absolutely maiden ;o) No Fink, and no DarwinPorts by now ;o)

Specific comments on your README:

- I have never found it necessary to upgrade bison, sed or awk. The versions
in the Xcode Developer Tools work for building octave on my G5 Mac. I hope
Apple upgrades all their tools for the Tiger release later this year. I did
have to upgrade automake in order to build the new gnuplot, for example.

;o) The XCode tools are a bit strange ;o) I think that I have (with XCode 2.4.1 and Tiger 10.4.8) the most newest releases, but I had no chance to compile octave with the shipped bison, sed and awk, no problems on your machine. And you needed to upgrade automake, that program did a good job on my machine.

- Yes, readline has been a problem right along, and installing a new
libreadline.a is essential to a fully working octave.

- I have X11 installed, but with AquaTerm, you may not need it. Maybe it is
needed for fonts or something?

Okay, thanks again, I'll try this.

- I hope that the newer versions of sparsesuite have a better installer. In
building octave-2.9.x, installing the spare matrix libraries has been a real
trip hazard. I realize that this is outside the scope of octave support, but
added help on the octave wiki may be in order. The Linux folks seem to count
on the sparsesuite version released with their OS. To compound the disorder,
sparsesuite seems to be changing rapidly, also.

The SuiteSparse is (nc.)... I also don't like the way to build this package and I think that there will nothing be changing in the next months ;o(

- I have built octave with gfortran, g95 and g77, and, as far as I know,
they all currently work. gfortran tends to work or not work depending on the
current build version; however, gfortran should probably be the preferred
because it is part of gcc, and allows use of Fortran 95 features. There was
an extra update called cctools that, at times, has been required for the use
of Fortran. I hope that's a thing of the past. At least I haven't needed to
install cctools lately.

Okay, I believe -of course- that other compilers will do a good job. But gfortran is the only one I found (very quickly) that was shipped as a binary version. And if available, I wanted to use binary versions of the various programs until we do have all that is needed to compile the octave program. You know about other binary precompiled Fortran compilers for MacOSX (no fink, darwinport, pure GNU)?

- octave-forge is another story. There are dependencies there like
ImageMagick that require some additional studies and downloads. My major
comment about any open source code on a Mac is that the biggest part of the
build is getting the dependencies correctly installed first. That's where
your README will really help.

In the octave-forge package I was already able to

  make packages

without errors but within a lot of warnings! I think at the octave-forge also some building rules have to be changed to make the package completely run with MacOSX (or maybe even not, I have to see). This is one of my next workings, because I want to test the OdePkg m- and mex-files on Linux and Mac. I'll discuss these experiences on the octave-forge maintainer's list.

Thanks a lot,

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