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Re: PSPP developers!

From: Ben Pfaff
Subject: Re: PSPP developers!
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2007 11:20:03 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1 (gnu/linux)

Hi Paul.  I answered your questions about how to start PSPP and
how to read a .sav file in your email to the -users list already,
so I won't repeat those answers here.  I'll try to address your
other questions and comments though.

I am sorry that you had to re-send your message, but I'm glad
that you were persistent enough to do it.  Comments from users
are valuable, and I'm always happy to receive them.

Paul and/or Minna Brown <address@hidden> writes:

>> When reading the following, please keep in mind that
>> I'm also a Linux -newbie, even though I'm a computer
>> professional and started my career working with Unix
>> and VAX systems.  Those days are just very distant
>> at
>> this point, and I haven't taken the time to
>> necessarily "know what I'm doing" in the Linux
>> environment -- just installing this and that when
>> it's
>> required for some package or other.  Which is e.g.
>> the
>> reason I have no idea what "C compiler and tool
>> chain"
>> I might have -- I know I've installed something at
>> some point, and the compilations are obviously
>> working...
>> So, for what it's worth, here's this, and hopefully
>> you can shed some light on some of my problems?

I think that the underlying problem is really that there are, as
yet, no packages of recent versions of PSPP for popular operating
system distributions such as Ubuntu or Fedora.  Presumably, when
we release PSPP 0.6.0, as we are planning to do when the PSPP GUI
becomes a little more mature, the existing Debian package for
PSPP will be updated from 0.4.0 to 0.6.0, which will make it
easier for Debian and Ubuntu users.  I don't know about the
availability of PSPP packages for Fedora, since I am a Debian

>> oh, and if there's some time when there's likely to
>> be
>> folks on the #pspp channel, let me know -- I'm in
>> the
>> UTC+2 time zone...

I've never been a text-chat enthusiast.  Perhaps someone else can
help you out here.

>> Before you install PSPP, you will need to install
>> certain prerequisites:
>> *An ANSI C compiler and tool chain.
>> How can I tell?  Give me a package + version or

Any ANSI C compiler and tool chain should work OK.  I currently
use GCC 4.1, but both older and newer versions of GCC should also

If you discover that some particular compiler or toolchain does
not work with PSPP, please let us know, so that we can either fix
the problem in PSPP or add a note to the instructions warning
that that particular program is not suitable.

>> *The GNU Scientific Library (GSL), version 1.6 or
>> later, including libgslcblas included with GSL.
>> Again, PACKAGE!!!  sudo apt-get install gsl, or
>> what?

I think that you may be assuming that all PSPP users have an
operating system that uses apt-get.  This is not the case.  PSPP
is designed to be portable.  As you may know, package names, and
even their versions, differ from one operating system to another,
and even the presence of a packaging system is not a good

If you are not able to find and install the appropriate package
from a description like that given above, then I would
respectfully suggest that you may not be a good candidate for
building PSPP directly from source.  In that case, perhaps you
should find someone who can help you out.  The INSTALL file is
written for an audience who has basic familiarity with how to
build software, but not with the details of how to build PSPP.
It is not meant to be a tutorial in the Unix way of software

>> [...several similar cases omitted...]

>> BTW, INSTALL file mentions dependency on GNU diff,
>> but
>> it is not mentioned in the install instructions in
>> the
>> FAQ.  Also, the INSTALL file differs from the FAQ
>> install instructions in other ways as well -- the
>> INSTALL file doesn't mention nearly as many
>> dependencies as the FAQ does.

The FAQ is somewhat out-of-date.  It seems that we sometimes
change the INSTALL file without updating the FAQ.  To avoid this
redundancy, I've taken the liberty of updating the FAQ to defer
to the INSTALL file for the details.

I am not sure that you have downloaded the latest version of PSPP
from CVS.  Did you download pspp-0.4.0.tar.gz, did you retrieve
PSPP via CVS, or did you use some other method?  If you obtained
PSPP from CVS, then the FAQ's (former) list of prereqs should be
quite similar to those in INSTALL.

>> AH, also, say (as in this case) that I had already
>> tried (and perhaps successfully) to install PSPP
>> once,
>> but then later decided maybe I didn't have all the
>> requisites, or decided I wanted to add some of the
>> ones I didn't have the first time.  Can I just get
>> the
>> required packages and then run the whole install
>> process over again (./configure --> make --> make
>> check --> make install), OR do I need to run some
>> sort
>> of "start over from scratch" script?

Re-running configure/make/make install should be sufficient.

>> ./configure -- should I be concered about the
>> output,
>> or will the last few lines tell me whether or not
>> everything went ok?  What if they didn't?  What are
>> some possible problems I might run into?  Do I need
>> to
>> worry about "warnings"?  HEY! Just found a comment
>> in
>> the INSTALL file - there IS a log created which I
>> can
>> check, but still nothing about how concerned to be
>> about what type of warnings or whatever.

This is a worthwhile point.  I checked a change into CVS that
makes configure print the message "PSPP configured successfully."
at the end of its run if everything goes well.

>> make -- same questions.  Should I go thru the output
>> after this is thru running?  Look for Warnings? 
>> Errors?  Or can I just look at the last lines?
>> LOTS of warnings, and LOTS of output -- so much, in
>> fact, that my terminal can't scroll back that far...

Every implementation of make acts a little bit different.  In
general, if the build does not stop with an error message, then
everything went well.  If the following steps succeed, then it
definitely went well.

>> make check -- I would assume that here it would be a
>> good idea to look for FAILs, but again, some help in
>> routing output and grepping the output file would be
>> nice...  I got the randdist failure that was
>> mentioned
>> somewhere in maillist archives, which I stumbled
>> across ACCIDENTALLY - otherwise I might be
>> concerned.

The "make check" output should say at the end how many tests
failed.  If only the random distribution test failed for you, all
is well.

>> And.... NOW WHAT???!!!  How do I start up the GUI? 

"make install" installed a binary called psppire.  Run it.

If you don't have such a binary, then either you did not
configure PSPP with GUI support, or you did not compile PSPP's
CVS version.

>> ARGH.  INSTALL mentions that any options you could
>> pass to configure should be mentioned in the README
>> file, but there are none mentioned there, afaics.

I could not find any reference to README in the INSTALL in PSPP
Ben Pfaff

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