gnuplot dependency in octave

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gnuplot dependency in octave

James R. Phillips-3
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.

Thanks,

jrp


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Re: gnuplot dependency in octave

Chris Taylor
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.
>
> Thanks,
>
> jrp
>

How about having a gnuplot-nox package like debian, which satisfies the
dependancy, and having gnuplot-x-drivers available separately?
It could be referenced in the README easily enough, and wouldn't be too
hard to find..

What do people think of that?


On a sidenote - jrp - want to set the reply-to header to the cygwin
list? makes it easier for the rest of us to respond on-list :P

Chris

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Re: gnuplot dependency in octave

Igor Peshansky
In reply to this post by James R. Phillips-3
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. :-(
        Igor
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Re: gnuplot dependency in octave

John W. Eaton
On  8-Dec-2005, Igor Pechtchanski wrote:

| 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")?

Here is what Octave does if it tries to run a nonexistent gnuplot:

  octave:1> gnuplot_binary = "foobar"
  gnuplot_binary = foobar
  octave:2> sombrero (41)
  octave:3> sh: foobar: command not found

  warning: connection to external plotter (pid = 25466) lost --
  warning: please try your plot command(s) again
  warning: broken pipe -- some output may be lost

So the user gets some idea that there is a problem, but I would bet
that this will confuse a lot of people.

My preference would be for it to work out of the box, but that is not
really the case yet, even if you have the gnuplot package installed.
The problem is that the Cygwin version of gnuplot requires X to put a
pretty plot on the screen but Octave does not require X to start.  So
if you run Octave in a Cygwin terminal (no X) then try a plot command,
Octave will think that the plot command succeeded, but nothing will
appear on the screen.  Maybe gnuplot should be giving an error when
the terminal is set to X11 but the X server is not available, but it
does not.

The gnuplot sources already have a way to open a native Windows window
for plotting, but that code is not used for the Cygwin version of
gnuplot (which uses X instead of the native Windows terminal driver).
It would be really sweet if the Cygwin gnuplot could be made to use
the native Windows terminal driver.

jwe

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Re: gnuplot dependency in octave

Dr. Volker Zell
In reply to this post by Chris Taylor
>>>>> Chris Taylor writes:

    > How about having a gnuplot-nox package like debian, which satisfies
    > the dependancy, and having gnuplot-x-drivers available separately?
    > It could be referenced in the README easily enough, and wouldn't be
    > too hard to find..

Currently not only /usr/sbin/gnuplot/4.0/gnuplot_x11.exe depends on X
(which could easily go in separate package) but gnuplot itself depends
on libgd2 which pulls in X.

Ciao
  Volker


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Re: gnuplot dependency in octave

Chris Taylor
Dr. Volker Zell wrote:

>
>     > How about having a gnuplot-nox package like debian, which satisfies
>     > the dependancy, and having gnuplot-x-drivers available separately?
>     > It could be referenced in the README easily enough, and wouldn't be
>     > too hard to find..
>
> Currently not only /usr/sbin/gnuplot/4.0/gnuplot_x11.exe depends on X
> (which could easily go in separate package) but gnuplot itself depends
> on libgd2 which pulls in X.
>
> Ciao
>   Volker
>

Hmm. Debian gets around this by having libgd2 depend on libgd2-noxpm OR
libgd2-xpm
The former does not require X libs.. Of course, once you start doing
this for multiple packages, it starts getting complicated, especially as
I seem to recall Igor saying that setup doesn't support OR dependancies,
or conflicts..
I'd offer to see about working that into it, except that I haven't the
foggiest where to begin (not a programmer, but still meaning to learn).
Hm.


Chris
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of little lives, false security has lulled the madness of this world
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