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Re: Octave 3.2.2 for Ubuntu9.04?

From: Jordi Gutiérrez Hermos
Subject: Re: Octave 3.2.2 for Ubuntu9.04?
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 2009 00:46:45 -0500

2009/9/19 Uwe Dippel <address@hidden>:
> Why does Octave not offer recent packages for widely used distributions?

Because it is largely a mistake when a software project makes its own
packages for distributions instead of helping or working closely with
the distribution to directly incorporate a package for, well,

Packaging for a distribution is a considerable task. Each distribution
has slighlty differing rules and policies on how compliation should be
made, which packages should be offered, where files should go, how
documentation should be presented, how should dependencies be
resolved, how source should be offered, etc. etc.

Too often software projects will offer their own .debs that are buggy
in minute ways because they do not adhere to a distribution's
packaging policy. Sure, they're often "good enough" and work, but we
should demand certain minimum

> And then some people wonder, when the year of 'Linux on the desktop' will
> finally be there; respectively, why it isn't yet. :(

I understand your frustration, and it is ours all at least part of the
time, but you know what they say about candles and cursing the
darkness. We are all volunteers.

> And if it compiles, it would be rather simple, to make it into a .deb; as
> far as I remember. Did the same years ago for some software.

It's possible to make a quick-and-dirty .deb that probably works for
you, but it's really nothing more than a convenience of tracking the
default Octave installation through apt. It is highly unlikely that
the default installation of any software package will adhere to Ubuntu
or Debian policies, so Octave itself cannot offer such .debs directly
and must instead rely on specific packagers like Rafael Laboissiere,
Thomas Weber, and infrequently myself.

Given your evident frustration, I think the easiest route would be to
either follow up on what I suggested and install Debian Octave's with
apt and do so carefully, paying close attention to which libraries
will get installed from each source, and use apt pinning (don't
download .deb's manually and expect them to satisfy dependencies)


follow up on John Swenson and upgrade your Ubuntu prematurely to the
next release of Ubuntu which has the latest Octave packages


build Octave from source. After you've downloaded the source, your
biggest problem with compiling it will no doubt be satisfying
dependencies. You can use a little Debian (or Ubuntu) help to satisfy
build dependencies by running "apt-get build-dep octave3.2" to get
everything you should need to build Octave before you run ./configure
&& make && sudo checkinstall make install (apt-get build checkinstall
to download checkinstall which will make your own aforementioned
quick-and-dirty .deb).

- Jordi G. H.

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