[GRASS5] discussion on how to package binaries

Glynn Clements glynn.clements at virgin.net
Fri Mar 5 20:35:31 EST 2004

Michael Barton wrote:

> Markus Neteler, Scott Mitchell, and I exchanged several emails over how 
> to package and distribute Mac binaries for GRASS. This discussion 
> raises some interesting issues and questions for the GRASS user 
> community. Markus suggested that it would be good to involve more 
> people in the discussion, and both Scott and I agree. I am forwarding 
> some of the more general commentary as a starting point in the 
> discussion. (which began with Scott and Markus making arrangements on 
> posting Scott's recently compiled Mac binaries for GRASS 5.3, and a 
> note on the new package of binaries posted by Lorenzo Moretti). All 
> these are worthy and supportable efforts. The discussion is over how to 
> most effectively package, post, and distribute GRASS.

Some comments:

1. The installation directory is almost a non-issue. If you want to
move GRASS, you shouldn't have to change anything except the GISBASE
setting in the grass5/grass53 script. You don't need to re-compile

2. Anything which is identifiably a separate package (e.g. Tcl/Tk)
should be packaged separately. AFAICT, MacOSX is already well on the
way to Windows-style "DLL hell" without us making it worse by silently
installing additional versions of common libraries.

I'm not sure whether this should apply to PROJ or GDAL. On one hand,
they aren't particularly common, and a lot of users won't have any use
for them other than GRASS. OTOH, GRASS users are more likely than most
to install other GIS packages, which may in turn use PROJ and/or GDAL.

3. Regarding installation permissions: Modifying system directories
(e.g. /Applications) *should* require root privilege. If system
directories are writable by all users, that's a pretty serious defect. 
OTOH, that's Apple's problem, not ours.

4. If Apple provides a curses library, GRASS (and everything else)
probably ought to be using their version and not fink's. That applies
equally to anything which we use which uses curses (e.g. readline).

OTOH, do both Apple's and fink's curses use the same terminfo
database? If not, is the database used by Apple's version complete?
(specifically, does it include xterm?).

Glynn Clements <glynn.clements at virgin.net>

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