Packaging:Octave

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How to package Octave packages

What is Octave?

The definition from website says:

"GNU Octave is a high-level language, primarily intended for numerical computations. It provides a convenient command line interface for solving linear and nonlinear problems numerically, and for performing other numerical experiments using a language that is mostly compatible with Matlab. It may also be used as a batch-oriented language."

If you are interested in packaging Octave packages, you should check here for upstream sources:

RPM macros

The following macros are defined in /etc/rpm/macros.octave in the octave package for help in packaging:

# Octave binary API provided
%octave_api %(octave-config -p API_VERSION || echo 0)}

# Octave Package Directories
%octshareprefix %{_datadir}/octave
%octprefix %{octshareprefix}/packages
%octarchprefix %{_libexecdir}/octave/packages
XXX Can this go in _libdir instead?
XXX Will the packages be multilib?

%octpkgdir %{octshareprefix}/%{octpkg}-%{version}
%octpkglibdir %{octarchprefix}/%{octpkg}-%{version}

# Run an octave command - quietly with no startup files
%octave_cmd()

# Build Source0 into a package tar file in a temporary location
%octave_pkg_build

# Install a package.  We use the octave pkg install command to install the
# built package into the buildroot.  We also put a note to prevent the root
# user from removing the package with the octave pkg uninstall command
%octave_pkg_install 

# preun script - we need to remove our uninstall protection and perhaps
# run the package's own uninstall script.
%_octave_pkg_preun
XXX Why does just this one macro begin with an underscore?

Octave packaging tips

Naming of Octave packages

Packages of Octave packages have their own naming scheme. They should take into account the upstream name of the package. This makes a package name format of octave-$NAME. When in doubt, use the name of the module that you type to import it in octave.

Examples:

octave-java (Octave package named java)
octave-gsl (Octave package named gsl)

Limitations in the pkg function of octave (pkg.m) means that versioning of octave packages requires that the package version must have a MAJOR.MINOR.MICRO format. Failing to use this format results in octave not recognising binary package components in %prefix/libexec.

unset TERM

Due to an issue with octave emitting an escape sequence (due to readline library) on startup, you need to unset the TERM variable in the %build and %install sections.

NOTE: This may no longer be necessary. If it is, it will be added to the %octave_cmd macro. XXX Can we verify whether this is still necessary, or if it needs to be mentioned at all?

Updating the octave package database

Octave maintains a list of installed packages in /usr/share/octave/octave_packages that needs to be updated on package install and removal. This file is in an octave plain-text format.

The contents of the /usr/share/octave/packages/ directory are scanned for the follwing files when performing a pkg('rebuild') from within octave.

  • /usr/share/octave/packages/NAMEOFPACKAGE/packinfo/COPYING
  • /usr/share/octave/packages/NAMEOFPACKAGE/packinfo/DESCRIPTION

If these files are not present in any given NAMEOFPACKAGE directory, then octave will silently skip the folder and fail to index it correctly.

Octave will use the contents of octave_packages to modify its path at startup, allowing octave to find plugins.

Documentation files

All package files are installed into the octave directories. The COPYING and DESCRIPTION files are documentation and need to be marked as %doc. The others are not.

Spec Templates for Octave packages

There are two types of Octave packages: arch-specific and noarch.

Arch specific Octave spec template

%global octpkg image

Name:           octave-%{octpkg}
Version:        1.0.13
Release:        1%{?dist}
Summary:        Image processing for Octave
Group:          Applications/Engineering
License:        GPLv2+
URL:            http://octave.sourceforge.net/image/
Source0:        http://downloads.sourceforge.net/octave/%{octpkg}-%{version}.tar.gz

Requires:       octave(api) = %{octave_api}

BuildRequires:  octave-devel


%description
The Octave-forge Image package provides functions for processing images. The
package also provides functions for feature extraction, image statistics,
spatial and geometric transformations, morphological operations, linear
filtering, and much more. 


%prep
%setup -q -n %{octpkg}-%{version}


%build
%octave_pkg_build


%install
rm -rf %{buildroot}
%octave_pkg_install


%post
%octave_cmd pkg rebuild
XXX Is this the literal string "pkg" or the package name?

%preun
%octave_pkg_preun

%postun
%octave_cmd pkg rebuild
XXX Is this the literal string "pkg" or the package name?

%files
%defattr(-,root,root,-)
%{octpkglibdir}
%dir %{octpkgdir}
%{octpkgdir}/*.m
%doc %{octpkgdir}/doc-cache
%{octpkgdir}/packinfo


%changelog
* Sat Feb 12 2011 Orion Poplawski <orion@cora.nwra.com> 1.0.13-1
- Initial Fedora package

Noarch Octave spec template

%global octpkg actuarial

Name:           octave-%{octpkg}
Version:        1.1.0
Release:        1%{?dist}
Summary:        Actuarial functions for Octave
Group:          Applications/Engineering
License:        GPLv2+
URL:            http://octave.sourceforge.net/
Source0:        http://downloads.sourceforge.net/octave/%{octpkg}-%{version}.tar.gz
BuildArch:      noarch

Requires:       octave

BuildRequires:  octave-devel


%description
Actuarial functions for Casualty and Property lines.


%prep
%setup -q -n %{octpkg}-%{version}


%build
%octave_pkg_build


%install
rm -rf %{buildroot}
%octave_pkg_install


%post
%octave_cmd pkg rebuild

%preun
%octave_pkg_preun

%postun
%octave_cmd pkg rebuild

%files
%defattr(-,root,root,-)
%dir %{octpkgdir}
%{octpkgdir}/*.m
%doc %{octpkgdir}/doc-cache
%{octpkgdir}/packinfo


%changelog
* Sat Feb 12 2011 Orion Poplawski <orion@cora.nwra.com> 1.1.0-1
- Initial Fedora package

Summary of differences between arch-specific and noarch octave packages

  • Noarch packages set BuildArch: noarch
  • Don't require a specific api version
  • Noarch packages don't install anything into %{octpkglibdir}