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Re: popularizing Octave (was "windows version of Octave")

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: Re: popularizing Octave (was "windows version of Octave")
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 12:28:56 -0400

On 24-May-2005, Doug Stewart wrote:

| As a windows person and a prof who expects his students to use Octave I 
| would like a windows version
| where the user(student) does not even know about cygwin. We need a 
| version that you click a button to install, then you click a button to 
| run, and then you learn and use Octave. Andy Adler's 2.1.42 is like what 
| I want
| I see that some want a cygwin environment and the ability to do 
| modifications etc.
| maybe we need two different windows versions
|  1) for those that want to play with cygwin.
|  2) for those that want octave as a tool to get their work done.

We seem to go over and over and over this point repeatedly.
Meanwhile, people who want to use Octave on Windows systems and who
are unable or unwilling to build it themselves continue to only be
able to find extremely obsolete binary versions, then complain to the
list about things that are broken but have already been fixed in newer
versions of Octave.

There is currently no useful way to run a complete Octave on a Windows
systems without the functionality that a minimal Cygwin installation
provides (you need a Unix environment not only for the system calls,
but for other things like print.m, because it relies on lpr).

I don't think that the Cygwin setup program is ideal.  But taking
advantage of Cygwin will get us going somewhere faster than waiting
for someone to do all that is necessary to eliminate the need for

I have said a number of times that I agree that it would be nice to
have a Windows installer that is simpler than the Cygwin setup, but
that I think the way to achieve that in the short term is to build the
simple Windows installer around the Cygwin package.  That way, you get
what you want, and we also have a Cygwin package.

Again, having a Cygwin package that is kept up to date should be
easy.  It won't be perfect, but it will be better than the situation
we have now.  All it requires is for someone to get connected to the
Cygwin community and volunteer to build the packages.  I have scripts
that can help, but someone needs to do the work to build the packages
on a regular basis.


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