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I would like to enquire whether someone would be interested in
developing some kind of scientific software packaging initiative ?
I am a post-doc researcher in applied and computational math and I am
using OpenIndiana on my workstation and personal computing nodes.
To the question "Why ?", I would reply that it's mainly about having the
possibility to setup a RAIDZ on the workstation and then benefiting from
better data "safety" (few horror/corruption stories with ext3...), using
snapshots for my data sets and results, as well as the possibility to
rollback if a new version of numerical libraries breaks something (or
even just an upgrade).
Another good point is the good support of Nvidia graphic cards and the
fact that something on the system is not breaking after every single
To this regard OpenIndiana is a very good working environment for a
The main drawback is that it requires lots of "manual" installations
which any researcher/engineer cannot afford.
Before considering using optimized libraries, one is mainly concerned
about just doing his research work :)
As the compilation and upgrade of numerical libraries and application
tends to be tedious and as I need to upgrade PETSc and friends, I am
taking the time now to package any software I am using at work.
I am currently packaging TeXLive, LaTeX Gedit plugin, Scilab, Paraview
and linear algebra and PDE solver software which have been using in the
I am using pkgbuild and SFE and here is a link to a sandbox where I
started pushing spec files I wrote this week:
Related to this, I have then few questions:
- - What can be a good way to collaborate on packaging scientific software ?
- - Should we provide the packages through the OI SFE repository or a
separate one ? Then how ?
- - Should we focus on using GCC 4.6.3 provided by SFE ? (I personally
don't have the time to handle SUNCC gotchas if any :S)
- - Where should the "OI Scientific" project by hosted ?
- - How should we handle dependencies to OI packages ? (for instance Ant
from OI is too old for some software I am using).
Moreover, if there are enough people interested I would advocate having
a system similar to Debian Sciences with few maintainer per package and
for each a separate repository with spec files, copyright, patches,
etc... (something like Redmine ?).
So if you are interested in a joint effort in that direction, I would be
glad to hear you suggestions.
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