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Re: PSPP developers!

From: Paul and/or Minna Brown
Subject: Re: PSPP developers!
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2007 23:51:15 -0700 (PDT)

Hello Ben!

And thank you for the prompt answers!

Also, (should have done this ahead of time before as a
"preamble" for the last emai), wanted to apologize for
the "ranting" tone of my last letter -- as I was going
thru the (as you may guess) somewhat frustrating
experience of trying to do the compilations and figure
out which of hundreds of gtk packages, etc. I might
need, etc...  I was simultaneously writing down my
comments to a text file, for future reference, in
order to send forward.  Then, as the process was
reaching its end, I found this address or just
otherwise decided to just send my findings on "as is",
without any editing whatsoever to, e.g. "tone it down
a bit".  Yes, that was real frustration I was feeling
and getting down in my text, but didn't necessarily
need to pass that straight on to you devs.

--- Ben Pfaff <address@hidden> wrote:
> ...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.

> >> oh, and if there's some time when there's likely
> >> to be folks on the #pspp channel, let me know -- 
> I've never been a text-chat enthusiast.  Perhaps
> someone else can help you out here.

Hey, I'm new to that as well, but willing to try
anything in the face of adversity...

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.

> >> *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? 
Again, I can see that that's just more "localization",
as it were, which will slow you down in your
development.  As I said, I'm a fairly fresh newcomer
to the Linux world, so can't know for certain, but I
would think that even some added info (package names
or whatever) geared toward users of another distro
would help me out somewhat when trying to get things
working on mine.  (Something's better than nothing?)
But that may be a poor assumption.

> If you are not able to find and install the
> appropriate package from a description like 
> that given above, then I would
> respectfully suggest that you may not be a good
> candidate for building PSPP directly from source.  

Ben!  You should be a diplomat!  Well put!  Yes, I
know, good argument there.

> In that case, perhaps you
> should find someone who can help you out.  

Yes, well, that's the real trouble, though.  In my
Quant.Studies classes, e.g., 95% of the students have
a hard time copying data from a USB memory stick to
the computer hard drive (or even finding where to PLUG
the stick, for that matter), so I haven't really
thought that I'd find anyone there to ask.

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,

> 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...

> >> ./configure -- should I be concered about the
> >> output, or will the last few lines tell me 
> >> whether or not everything went ok?
> This is a worthwhile point.  I checked a change into
> CVS that makes configure print the message 
> "PSPP configured successfully."
> at the end of its run if everything goes well.

Hey!  As I say to my wife, every time I manage to do
something right, "good for something"!

> >> And.... NOW WHAT???!!!  How do I start up the GUI
> "make install" installed a binary called psppire. 
> Run it.

I think this was one of my biggest gripes -- I didn't
find ANYTHING which told me this, and the answer is oh
so simple.

'Course, I still don't seem to have that binary, even
though I thought I'd compiled from the CVS snapshot...
Grrr...  Back to the drawing board.

So, to clarify -- I went to  There was mention of
the CVS snapshot on alpha -- I went there and
downloaded pspp-

Is that not what I should be using?

Again, THANKS hugely for the response, and y'all's
efforts in getting PSPP workng.


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