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Re: gnuplot dependency in octave

On Thu, 8 Dec 2005, James R. Phillips wrote:

> I am starting a new thread on this issue.
> Quoting from
> :
> >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 <> (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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    '---''(_/--'  `-'\_) fL	a.k.a JaguaR-R-R-r-r-r-.-.-.  Meow!

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