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Re: PSPP developers!

From: Ben Pfaff
Subject: Re: PSPP developers!
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2007 08:28:02 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1 (gnu/linux)

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

>> ...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. 
> This could very well be the case - I haven't looked at
> the dates very closely, but I just sort of assumed
> that 0.4.0 was fairly recent.

Not really.  It's over two years old, actually.  We haven't made
an official release of anything newer, though, so it's still the
most recent "released" version.

When the new GUI stabilizes a bit, we will release version 0.6.0.

> As regards compiler packages, etc...  The Ubuntu (and
> I would assume the Linux, in general) community is
> VERY good (imho) about providing step-by-step
> instructions -- naturally that's much easier/possible
> when providing info for 1 distro.  In any case, I
> wouldn't be at all surprised if there were lots out
> there like me, who, having followed some nice
> instructions somewhere, actually HAVE a compiler
> installed, w/o actually knowing it's there or what the
> version is or whatever.  Would there not be *any* sort
> of "vanilla" instructions on how to figure this out,
> e.g. "type gcc --version at the command prompt and see
> what happens".  Or something.  If not, then not.

I think you might still be asking, in a way, what version of GCC
would be needed.  The answer is that I don't know exactly.  I
suspect that anything from GCC 3.0 on up would work fine.
Certainly, Ubuntu is a new enough distribution that any compiler
they have ever distributed should work.

Probably, you could just type "gcc", and as long as you didn't
get back an answer like "gcc: command not found", you'd be fine.

>> >> *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....
> Yes, I can appreciate that, certainly.  As you
> mentioned above, though, some distributions (you
> mention Ubuntu and Fedora) could be considered
> "popular".  Would it not make sense to try and include
> some added instructions for users of these distros?

Maybe.  Partly, this hinges on what distros the PSPP developers
use, because it is inconvenient to test instructions for distros
that one does not use.  I use Debian; I can't speak for any of
the others.

For the long run, I think that there are two solutions that we
the PSPP developers should pursue:

        * Release more often.  Two years between releases is not
          often enough.  I think that 6 to 9 months between
          releases would be a lot better, if we can do it.

        * Frequently make available development snapshots, both
          as source .tar.gz files and in a few binary package
          formats such as .deb or .rpm.  These could help users
          such as yourself who want to try the latest version but
          who are not accustomed to building software from

> There don't seem to be any forums or anything where
> PSPP usage is discussed.  Even finding the mail-list
> archives and addresses took me some time.  I can't
> remember at this point or not if it's already there,
> but I'd think the FAQ would be a good place to include
> info about any and all forums/irc channels/whatever
> where PSPP is being discussed -- those you know of,
> naturally.

When you talk about forums, do you mean web-based message forums?
I do not know of any such forums where PSPP is discussed.  So
far, we do not have a thriving user community.  Perhaps by
working to improve ourselves through user feedback, we can
attract more users.

If you are willing to use Usenet, there is a newsgroup named
comp.soft-sys.stat.spss where SPSS is discussed.  I have not yet
seen much discussion of PSPP there, so I do not know whether the
regular posters there would mind.

>> 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?  
> The original was something I'm pretty sure,
> and most recently I got one that was mentioned (I
> believe) on the CVS site -- a snapshot of the CVS
> version?  But *that* INSTALL file I have not yet
> looked at...

Even the CVS snapshot is pretty dated.  I will try to post a
newer one soon.

> So, to clarify -- I went to
>  There was mention of
> the CVS snapshot on alpha -- I went there and
> downloaded pspp- is essentially 0.4.0.  It does not include the GUI.
Ben Pfaff

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