[GRASS5] optional bundled libraries

Michael Barton michael.barton at asu.edu
Wed Mar 3 11:08:03 EST 2004

On Tuesday, March 2, 2004, at 07:59  PM, grass5-request at grass.itc.it 

> But Tcl/Tk is a fairly standard library, and is quite likely to be on
> the system already. If we bundle that, where does it end? Are we going
> to start bundling OpenGL or X11?
> Personally, I don't think that we should be bundling anything for
> which there is an existing version which could reasonably be
> considered "standard". That probably includes zlib, curses, X, Tcl/Tk,
> OpenGL, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, PostgreSQL and FreeType. It may or may not
> -- 
> Glynn Clements <glynn.clements at virgin.net>


Your point is well taken. However, of the many libraries you mention 
below, how many are needed for running GRASS binaries and how many are 
needed for compiling it?

To simply run GRASS (i.e., the XWindows version) on my MacOSX system, I 
*think* that I only need

GDAL (actually only libgdal for importing)

Perhaps I am misled about this, but this seems to be a minimum that I 
need to install. Perhaps all the rest are needed but ARE part of modern 
standard OS package installation (or at least standard X11 
installations). I will admit that I am not clear on this. The problem 
that prompted my query to Scott and Scott's to the list is that X11 is 
widely available in binary form for all the systems that GRASS runs on; 
the other 3 are not.

The versions of GDAL and Proj available from the major Mac packaging 
service (fink) are (or at least very recently were) out of date and/or 
incomplete both as binaries and as source packages, meaning that anyone 
wanting to use these must compile them from scratch. They are not 
available as standard CYGWIN install packages either.

TclTk is equally problematic. It IS available to compile from the fink 
packaging service for Mac, but not as binary anywhere that I can find 
(I thought I found a source, but it was missing Wish). This means that 
to simply get TclTk, you have to install fink also or compile from 
scratch. I like fink, but it would be nice if Mac users did not HAVE to 
use it. It is worse for CYGWIN. The CYGWIN version of TclTk is 
incompatible with GRASS and a compatible binary is provided on the 
WinGRASS site.

Ironically, PostgreSQL, which is useful but not necessary for simply 
running GRASS, is widely available in binary form for all major systems.

Ideally, what I'd like to see is a way to have access to the minimum 
requirements to run GRASS available from the main GRASS site and 
mirrors--either as packages for downloads or links to reliable sites 
for the resources in binary form. Perhaps this is unrealistic. Perhaps 
the move toward shared libraries will eventually solve this.  I'd like 
to see GRASS more widely used. I've found it to be a highly useful GIS 
and image analysis package, and the direction it is now being taken 
could make it equal to the best on the market. However, IMHO most 
people who use GIS won't use GRASS if they have to compile it or any of 
its required resources.

Michael Barton
Michael Barton, Professor & Curator
Department of Anthropology
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ  85287-2402

voice: 480-965-6262; fax: 480-965-7671

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