Re: gnumeric-list Digest, Vol 27, Issue 1

Prof J C Nash wrote:
I've seen a number of msgs on this list about compiling a verion, usually the latest, of Gnumeric. I've tried myself too.

What I haven't found yet, and not only for Gnumeric, is a good how-to on
actually doing such compiling safely and cleanly without disrupting one's working environment. That is, I have 2 "main" working machines, one running Xandros 3.02, which gets Gnumeric 1.4.3 (sigh!) using apt-get, and Ubuntu Dapper, which get's (as far as I can tell) 1.59 (it may have just got to 1.61). But to really check tests, I need the latest release.
My Dapper installation has the 1.6.3 binaries.
The difficulties are that if one tries to install the "new" libraries, existing and needed applications can become unworkable. Some sort of safe sandbox (chroot environment) is likely needed. But some good, sane, advice would be helpful. I've had suggestions of putting up Gentoo, but I've played distro-roulette enough to now be very careful about making changes. I've also some critical, everyday things I must keep working.
I support this. I would like to be able to test, but the libraries needed to support gnumeric have a way of getting ahead of what is available in the standard distributions. I am tempted to have the latest and greatest, but libraries that should be compatible sometimes turn out not to be, so I tend to stick close to a standard flavor of Linux, changing whenever it becomes impossible to live with the old version (that time seems have shrunk to one year). I have moved my spreadsheets to Dapper, but I still need to go back to my Fedora3 setup for some other things. I have also been looking at FreeBSD with an eye to having that as my testing environment with only a minimal number of standard programs that could be broken while compiling test versions of things that interest me.

To ensure that I'm not just complaining, if someone sends me rough notes and I get things working, I'll be happy to edit and prepare the HowTo and to the extent my schedule allows maintain it. I use Linux, but I'm prepared to try to help out on other platforms with editing a HowTo or possibly running a WinXP boot that I do have available.
So far, other people's binaries have worked well for me. WinXP has even turned out to be less painful than I expected. Most of the concerns that I have read about in this list are the result of trying to do everything from the spreadsheet. I have been able to get more satisfying results by copying data into gnuplot for graphs and creating efficient TeX or html is the gnumeric workbook for copying int emacs. Maybe it is just that, as a mathematician, I am more comfortable with marlup languages and have little patience for finding the exact high level command hidden a large application.
JN  (nashjc _AT_ for off-list communications)


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