Re: Linux: how compatible with add-ons ?
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg22317] Re: Linux: how compatible with add-ons ?
- From: paulh at wolfram.com (P.J. Hinton)
- Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 03:01:30 -0500 (EST)
- Organization: "Wolfram Research, Inc."
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- Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com
In article <88vtk5$mbv at smc.vnet.net>, AC "baltazarius" <a at a.com> writes: > What I understand is that there are so many different Unix (Linux) flavors > out there that Wolfram doesn't want to have to give support to ALL these > individual platforms for ALL the add-ons. I can understand that. Though, > maybe Wolfram should make some testing on the most popular versions (Sun > Solaris, Red Hat Linux, etc.) and let the customer decide if he wants to > take the "risk". I use Linux-Mandrake myself and it is said to be 99% > compatible with Red Hat Linux. Although it says so in my signature disclaimer, I'll repeat it again at the beginning of this post. The remarks below are mine. They do not constitute an official statment on behalf of my employer. I post replies to this forum on a volunteer basis on my own time as a service to the Mathematica community. The author's post included some questions about Wolfram Research's official stance on some points. I have referred these questions to more appropriate individuals within the company. Now on to my remarks... I think you may have misunderstood my prior remarks. The issue of courseware add-on compatibility isn't tied to the issue of distribution compatibility or even compatibility across different flavors of UNIX. Rather it is largely due to the fact that X Window does not specify user interface behavior to the same level of detail that Windows and MacOS do. Instead, the details are left to the designers of widget toolkits and window managers. Most current Linux distributions ship with at least five or six different window managers, all of which have their own ways of handling things like window placement. The Calculus Wiz product contains a lot of notebooks with active user interface controls. These controls are programmed using notebook manipulation commands like those described in Section 2.10 of _The Mathematica Book_ (Fourth Edition). Some of these commands will work fine under MacOS and Windows, but may be unpredictable under X. A good example is the control of exact placement of a window somewhere on the screen. X allows a client program to request a location, but the window manaager has full discretion and can disregard the request altogether. This can result in some bizarre interface behavior. > So if Wolfram Inc. had made compatibility testing and figured x, > y and z add-on packages were compatible with Red Hat Linux, I > would had been confident that packages x, y and z would had worked > with my Linux-Mandrake distribution. The Linux version of Mathematica is designed to be fairly distribution agnostic. Installation is handled through a shell script rather than specific package management tools. The executables are linked statically against all libraries upon which they depend. This includes the C runtime libraries, math libraries. For the X Window-based notebook front end, this includes static linkage against the Motif libraries. Although it results in a larger memory requirement, it protects the user from a lot of compatibility problems that may arise do to shared libraries. With the exception of courseware products that make extensive use of notebook manipulation commands, WRI does produce a number of add-ons for Linux and UNIX versions of Mathematica. This is because these add-ons are written in the Mathematica language, which is largely platform independent. -- P.J. Hinton Mathematica Programming Group paulh at wolfram.com Wolfram Research, Inc. Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone.