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Re: octave-3.4.0 with arpack bundled

From: Rafael Goncalves Martins
Subject: Re: octave-3.4.0 with arpack bundled
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 22:14:35 -0300

On Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 8:32 PM, John W. Eaton <address@hidden> wrote:
> On 10-Mar-2011, Rafael Goncalves Martins wrote:
> | Our intention is really to remove the directory
> | octave-3.4.0/libcruft/arpack and patch the build system to use our
> I have no problem with people doing that, and we could certainly work
> to make it easy for you to build without the bundled ARPACK sources
> with a --without-bundled-arpack configure switch, or something
> similar.  I'm not sure exactly what it should be, but I don't want it
> enabled by default, or for Octave to skip the bundled sources just
> because an ARPACK library happens to be found on the system, at least
> not unless we have a reliable configure time test that detects the
> bugs that we have fixed that result in crashes in Octave's eigs
> function.  And unfortunately, those crashes do not seem to be easily
> reproducible, so I don't know how to write a reliable test for them.

Please add this --without-bundled-arpack option at least.

> My reasoning for including the ARPACK sources with Octave was that I
> didn't know of anyone actually maintaining the package, we needed to
> have a serious bug fixed, and it seemed simpler to just include the
> sources with Octave rather than try to point to some other location
> and then tell people to build the sources separately with some
> complicated set of directions that included applying patches,
> hand-editing makefiles, etc.

My personal opinion is that you guys should just ship a custom arpack
tarball if the upstream one isn't good enough, so the other projects
using arpack can benefit from your patches as well.

I can spend hours here talking about why bundled libraries are evil,
but my mate Diego Pettenò already did the hard work:

Please read at least some of the posts and take your own conclusions.

> If someone does take over maintenance of ARPACK, I'd be happy to stop
> distributing it with Octave.  Until then, I think it makes more sense
> to keep distributing it with Octave, the same as we do for other
> relatively obscure Fortran packages like DASSL, DASPK, DASRT, ODEPACK,
> SLATEC, etc.

Not sure... Projects like scipy are using ARPACK without bundle it.
Please reconsider this decision


Rafael Goncalves Martins
Gentoo Linux developer

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