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Re: Second attampt at new octave-forge web site

From: Joe Koski
Subject: Re: Second attampt at new octave-forge web site
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 19:28:23 -0600
User-agent: Microsoft-Entourage/

on 10/16/06 2:05 PM, David Bateman at address@hidden wrote:

> Dear All,
> Soren and I have been working to address the remaining issues on the
> octave-forge website and the issues raised from our previous test site.
> Please check http://octave.dbateman.org
> The changes we made include
> * The most noticeable change is that we changed the site from green to
> blue, to make a clear distinction between the octave and octave-forge
> sites. We also changed the sombrero logo to green. Neither Soren or I
> are web designers, so any other thoughts would be appreciated on how to
> address this request from John.
> * The front-page now has a "Recent News" heading. There is also a News
> Archive that replaces the RELEASE-NOTES from the monolithic octave-forge.
> * The package page now uses javascript to hide the description, till the
> package title is clicked. This allows a much denser list of packages
> * All of the webpages have been passed through http;//validator.w3.org
> and the CSS file through http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/. There is
> one remaining errors of the "text-align:" in the div#sf_logo section. If
> you know a fix please tell?
> * The categories index has been made consistent, and alphabetically sorted
> * The package function references now contain only the functions in the
> package itself listed alphabetically. The full categories index is still
> available from the documentation page. This makes a clear distinction
> between code in one package or another and those functions in octave itself
> * The tar-balls of the packages have the same sub-directory name as the
> package itself.
> The problems that we know remain and don't propose to fix before a
> release are
> * The GPC and graceplot packages have not been converted to the package
> manager
> * The CSS file has the one remaining error discussed above
> * We really should move www/ to doc/htdocs to simplify the octave-forge
> source tree and make the install on the website easier.
> Can you please suggest any further changes that you'd like to this site.
> If there are no further comments, Soren and I propose to take the site
> live later this week.
> Regards
> David


First, let me say that I think that you and Soren are headed in the right
direction with octave-forge. I think the new package scheme, once worked
out, will be better for both users and maintainers.

My initial comments here are in my role as the perfect analog for the
average "dumber-than-snot" Mac user.

For the record, this is with OS X 10.4.8, Xcode-2.4 developer tools, and
octave-2.9.9 built with g95 on a G5 PowerPC Mac. This is the latest OS, but
not the latest Intel machine.

The first thing that I noticed was that Mac OS X has a habit of un-gzipping
any downloaded file into a just plain .tar file. Yes, I could find the
correct box to check or uncheck in the Finder preferences, but the average
Mac user doesn't usually go there. Should pkg be smart enough to look at the
extension? I know that .tar.gz has other alternates such as .tgz. Excuse me
if you have already thought about all of this.

As an initial test, I downloaded image-1.0.0.tar.gz from your test site,
and, as I said, this immediately became image-1.0.0.tar. I moved the .tar
file into a folder called /Downloads_and_Updates/octave-forge_packages and

  pkg install image-1.0.0.tar

but I got an error, so I gzipped it back into a .tar.gz and tried

  pkg install image-1.0.0.tar.gz

and I got pretty much the same errors:

GNU Octave, version 2.9.9 (powerpc-apple-darwin8.8.0).
Copyright (C) 2006 John W. Eaton.


octave:1> pkg install image-1.0.0.tar.gz
warning: You have not defined an installation prefix, so the following will
be used: /Users/jakoski/octave/
tar: image-1.0.0.tar.gz: Cannot open: No such file or directory
tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now
warning: implicit conversion from scalar to string
error: tar: tar exited with status =

Octave was started in the same working directory as image-1.0.0.tar.gz.

Then I tried help pkg, and noticed that it's not complete yet. How to fix
this should probably be referenced somewhere in the final help package. I
have no problem with the default location for the package of ~/octave.

My first guess is that octave is having trouble with the Apple tar, but I
can't confirm that. The irony is that on my old Mac, I had to type man
gnutar to get the man file for tar, although tar -xvf etc. works just fine.
On the new Mac OS, man tar works just fine, as does tar.

One other issue. On Macs, to install files into /usr/local (which doesn't
exist until the Mac user creates it), you must, typically, "sudo make
install" and then enter your "administrator" password. Should there be a
provision for installing into protected areas, or should that be left for
only the more experienced users? Yes, you could also, like any *IX, log in
as root and do the installation.

As always, I can try things to see if they work. Let me know what to try



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