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[Gcl-devel] Building GCL and Maxima plotting - Windows

From: Mike Thomas
Subject: [Gcl-devel] Building GCL and Maxima plotting - Windows
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 09:36:49 +1000

Hi Stephen.

I've CC'ed the Maxima and GCL lists as these answers are relevant to anyone
wanting to use Maxima and GCL on Windows platforms.


> Why isn't Maxima on savannah?

No idea about the history I'm sorry.  Anyone?

> I'd like to get plots working on Windows. Since they work in the Tk
> bundled version, I assume it's just a matter of configuring things
> right. I did not try compiling GCL with Tk support.

Actually it doesn't use Tk support in GCL at all and Tk is not supported yet
by GCL on Windows.  XMAXIMA is a Wish wrapper script which communicates with

To work on it you should get the Maxima sources.

At present the CVS version of that script is a bit neglected as they changed
the installed Maxima directory layout without updating  XMAXIMA.  If you're
interested you might want to sort that out - I'm sure the results would be
appreciated by others in the longer term!

There may also be other Windows/Maxima plotting alternatives - off the top
of my head I think that Maxima may be able to interface with GNUPlot for


> Ok. I may pull down the CVS sources just to see what's going on.

The configuration arguments needed for a Mingw32/Maxima build under MSYS

./configure --enable-custreloc --prefix c:/wherever/you/want/to/install

> Hmm. I got MingW32 1.1; I thought that _was_ the latest. Which file do
> mean? There are a lot of separate packages on the Sourceforge download
> page, with no description of what each contains (that I can find).

It's not a pretty sight is it?  You have to follow the Mingw32 mailing list
pretty closely to understand what is happening there.

The basic story is that you overwrite the contents of the package you
already have with the contents of the update packages as follows:

1. Start with MinGW-1.1.tar.gz.

2. By looking at the dates and version numbers appended to the other
packages on the download page, get the latest versions of gcc, binutils,
mingw-runtime, and w32api.   (Stick with gcc 2.95 rather than gcc 3.1/3.2).
I have the following packages:


3. Go to the top level Mingw32 installation directory - the one in which you
can see "bin", "lib" etc

4. Extract those other packages in that directory eg "tar xzf

5. Remove the Mingw version of "make" from the bin directory - it will not
work properly for most tasks including building GCL and Maxima.

6. Get MSYS and install it - follow the instructions - subscribe to the
mailing list and read the archives.  MSYS 1.08 is the easiest to install
properly - BUT NOTE - when it is time to configure and build GCL, you'll
need to hand alter the GCLDIR makefile macro in the configure generated file
"makedefs" so that it uses standard Windows format ie "c:/blah/blah" instead
of "/c/blah/blah".

7. In the MSYS directory install the "msysDTK-1.0.0-alpha-1.tar.gz" package
which gives you cvs, ssh, rlogin, etc.

8.  Please let me know how this goes as I want to update the CVS
instructions and there is no substitute for live experience in these things.

> Ok, I guess I can try this. Apparently msys is a replacement for
> cygwin? I can't tell from the Sourceforge site.

It's a fork of Cygwin which is designed to ease the use of GNU autoconf,
automake and other build and configuration utilities to produce pure Win32
executables with the Mingw32 toolset ie, they depend solely on the DLLs
which come with Windows.

In particular, unlike Cygwin, it does not provide a POSIX library to emulate
Unix in your final executable.  As such it works very well, although it is
still early days yet.

Once again, let me know how you go.

Mike Thomas.

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