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Re: Octave distribution (was: Re: Octave advocacy)

From: Dirk Eddelbuettel
Subject: Re: Octave distribution (was: Re: Octave advocacy)
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 20:07:55 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i

On Fri, Sep 17, 2004 at 10:16:59AM -0700, Jonathan Stickel wrote:
> Open source is a lot about choice, but there is a price to pay for that. 
>  With Octave there are many choices: which blas/atlas package to use, 
> hdf5 support, whether to install octave-forge, and others I don't know. 
>  With octave-forge there are more choices:  GiNaC support, Qhull 
> support, additional plotting packages, and others.
> To truly choose for yourself, you must compile from source.  If you 

You can always select a superset package and then opt not to use certain
features.  For what it's worth, Debian has all of the above.

> don't want to compile from source, you are at the mercy of those who 
> will compile for you!  Usually binary packages come with less rather 
> than more since the more you include, the more library dependencies must 
> be solved.

Counter-example provided by Debian. 'apt-get install octave-forge' just works,

> Just my 2 cents.  BTW: this is why I use Gentoo for my Linux Distro.

Yes, choice is good. 

But as a Debian user, I am glad so many packages are just an 'apt-get
install' command away.  As a Debian maintainer, I try to make that choice
available to others via the packages I look after.  Now, as for choice, I
think these aren't even available in other distros:

octave-ci - Contributed functions for the GNU Octave language
octave-epstk - GNU Octave encapsulated postscript toolkit
octave-gpc - Octave bindings for the General Polygon Clipper Library
octave-matcompat - Empty transition package for octave-forge
octave-plplot - Octave support for PLplot, a plotting library
octave-sp - Semidefinite Programming functions for GNU Octave
octave-statdataml - GNU Octave package for XML-based data exchange
matwrap - A wrapper generator for matrix languages

These are also part of the bootable Quantian dvd, see the webpages at

Best regards,  Dirk

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.
                                                -- Groucho Marx

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