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Re: Default PATH for executing external programs

From: Carnë Draug
Subject: Re: Default PATH for executing external programs
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2014 21:17:44 +0000

On 6 November 2014 18:51, John W. Eaton <address@hidden> wrote:
> Currently, Octave sets the PATH for searching for executable programs
> to be the user's PATH followed by Other directories under OCTAVE_HOME
> that may also contain programs to execute.  By setting things this
> way, we may end up executing the wrong version of mkoctfile (for
> example).  Octave's mkoctfile function takes care of this by
> explicitly executing the copy of the external mkoctfile program found
> in Octave's $bindir, but that is not done when executing the external
> mkoctfile program using "pkg install" because "pkg install" just
> executes Make, and there is no way to know how the package Makefiles
> will execute mkoctfile.
> There was a bug report about this issue for Windows:
>   https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?func=detailitem&item_id=43164
> The solution was to prepend Octave's $bindir to the user's PATH before
> starting Octave.  That works, but shouldn't Octave be doing this
> itself?
> Or perhaps it should not be doing this at all, because it doesn't
> allow the user to easily override that choice.
> Another option is to have Octave export MKOCTFILE (with a default
> setting, but not overriding the value found in the environment, if
> any) and require package Makefiles to use this variable if they want
> to behave properly.

Many OF packages already check if there is a MKOCTFILE environment
variable and will use it instead of searching the path. This seems like a
reasonable option. I wonder if it makes sense to have it stored in
octave_config_info as is the path for most directories and mkoctfile flags.


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