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Re: Comments on the Mac installation instructions on the wiki

From: Paul Kienzle
Subject: Re: Comments on the Mac installation instructions on the wiki
Date: Sun, 8 Apr 2007 11:11:02 -0400

On Apr 8, 2007, at 7:44 AM, Marius Schamschula wrote:

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.

You could also build octave as an app. The octave libraries can be moved so long as you set the appropriate variables before running such as DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH to point to the octave libraries and the appropriate m-file path on octave startup. You can even include gnuplot and aquaterm in the bundle for an extra couple of megabytes so that the user doesn't have to work to find them. You can similarly hack mkoctfile so that it runs from the octave prompt and can find the header files (with the new package manager this is probably available already), so that users can write their own extensions and download packages.

The only part I don't know how to do is start a terminal with octave running when you click on the app, and figuring out how to set the proper working directory. If nothing else you could probably embed the Terminal app in the bundle as well, or alternatively use one of the octave IDEs that run on the Mac.

- Paul

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