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Re: Comments on the Mac installation instructions on the wiki

From: Marius Schamschula
Subject: Re: Comments on the Mac installation instructions on the wiki
Date: Sun, 8 Apr 2007 06:44:21 -0500

On Apr 8, 2007, at 5:06 AM, Matthias Brennwald wrote:

Dear all

Just a few comments on the instructions on how to build and install  

- I had a hard time finding gfortran on the site. In  
fact, I can't find it again right now. A better description on where  
to find it would help a lot!

- The urls to the gnu software don't work. Are they valid? I just  
connected to and went on from there.

- gnuplot 4.2: to support X11 (which I prefer to aquaterm), the  
developer SDK for X11 from XCode needs to be installed before  
building gnuplot. For output to PDF files, I installed PDFLib-lite  
before building gnuplot. (thanks to Marius Schamschula for helping me  
with gnuplot!)

- the 'Extensions': is it possible to install these after installing  
octave? Or is it necessary to re-install octave to make use of the  

In general: I think the number of Mac users would explode if Octave  
was available as a package that would be installed using the normal  
Mac Installer. This IS possible! I once downloaded the binary (Octave  
2.9.9) from the HPC site, put that into a Mac package using Apples  
PackageMaker program (that was a quick and dirty hack, though,  
following the hints here: 
PackageMaker_Howto.html ). Then I successfully installed this package  
via the Mac Installer program -- no shell hacking! just one or two  
mouse clicks, et voila!! However, I don't know how to make a binary  
archive like the one on the HPC site that already knows where to  
install the files. I also don't know what (if) Mac specific  
information should be added to the Mac package, and how/where to  
include the license stuff.


I also had a look at the Mac installation page a couple of days ago, and noticed that there was no mention of MacPorts <>. They currently have octave 2.9.9 and octave-forge 2006.07.09.

Fundamentally it is possible to build octave as a .pkg or .mpkg for Apple's I did this several years ago. I later pulled this .mpkg due to the duplication of effort with my normal .tar.gz based install system. The real problem is coming up with the file list. You can't just package up everything in /usr/local, so you need to build into a separate tree. This is a bit of a chore, since you have to add a lot of configuration arguments and environmental  variables. My coworkers at Boston University use this approach for CISM_DX - which currently includes octave 2.1.72 - see <>. Alternately, you can use a utility to find changed files, such as afick. However, it may miss files that were not overwritten during the install process.

Note that MacPorts can build .pkg files. This may be the simplest approach. However, it installs everything into /opt/local...



Marius Schamschula


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