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Re: gnuplot dependency in octave
- From: Igor Pechtchanski <pechtcha at cs dot nyu dot edu>
- To: "James R. Phillips" <antiskid56-cygwin at yahoo dot com>
- Cc: cygwin at cygwin dot com
- Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 10:04:56 -0500 (EST)
- Subject: Re: gnuplot dependency in octave
- References: <email@example.com>
- Reply-to: cygwin at cygwin dot com
On Thu, 8 Dec 2005, James R. Phillips wrote:
> I am starting a new thread on this issue.
> Quoting from
> http://cygwin.com/ml/cygwin/2005-12/msg00319.html :
> >I often use octave and do no plotting at all. Octave starts and runs
> >fine if gnuplot isn't installed. (It complains about not being able
> >to find gnuplot when the plot command is used.) Should there really
> >be a dependency if only a subset of features requires a package?
> >I'd prefer to see gnuplot removed from the octave dependency list.
> >Of course then you'd have to deal with all the posts saying that
> >the plot command in octave is broken. So I don't know what the best
> >approach would be. How do others feel?
> >Tony Richardson
> As the OP notes, having a gnuplot dependency pulls in X when installing
> octave, which is not what some users need or want. And octave will load
> and run just fine without gnuplot - it just won't plot. However, most
> users want to plot, and will need gnuplot.
> So, my current view is that a gnuplot dependency is optimal for most
> users, and that those who don't want it can work around the issue by
> using known solutions, such as hacking the /etc/setup/installed.db file
> to fool setup into thinking gnuplot is installed.
> On the other side is how Debian does it: gnuplot is "suggested" for
> octave, not "required". Also, Debian has a gnuplot-nox package, which I
> suppose omits the gnuplot X11 drivers, and actually allows installing
> gnuplot without requiring X.
> I think that gnuplot-nox is kind of a neat solution, but even if such a
> package were available in cygwin, we don't have a way to express OR
> dependencies. So it would be difficult to use this approach. Also we
> don't have a way to express "suggested" rather than required.
> On balance, I favor retaining the current dependency on gnuplot. I
> would ask that those with alternative views post to this thread.
What about <http://cygwin.com/ml/cygwin/2005-12/msg00339.html> (which
fails gracefully if gnuplot isn't installed)? Or does octave-forge
already "do the right thing" (tm) with respect to a missing gnuplot (i.e.,
print out a meaningful error message, such as "plotting disabled since
gnuplot is not installed -- please install it to plot")?
Unfortunately, with packages that have lots of dependencies, it's not
enough to just fool setup.exe into not installing that particular package
-- you also need to set all of its dependencies to high versions. In case
of gnuplot, this means at least all of X. :-(
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