Re: trying to install ncl and nco on ubuntu or centos

From: David Burns <tdbtdb+ncl_at_nyahnyahspammersnyahnyah>
Date: Thu Dec 09 2010 - 15:17:12 MST

Hi Mary,
Thanks for your reply. Sorry for the long delay in responding.

On Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 9:12 AM, Mary Haley <> wrote:
> Hi Dave,
> Mostly, however, we can't do this [provide packages for linux distros] because we require that users get NCL via
> the ESG website. And this, in turn, requires that you login to get the
> software. This makes it impossible to use for LINUX package distributors.
> The reason we require downloading via the ESG is that we need meaningful
> metrics on who's downloading the software. These metrics are reported
> (indirectly) back to NSF, our funder, to show the impact NCL has on
> scientific research. Without these metrics, NSF could potentially decide to
> discontinue our funding.

I can't help thinking your actual impact might be greater if you
allowed people to get the software more easily. I suppose that is hard
to measure. It is also hard to measure to what degree the existing
system discourages wide-spread use and encourages situations where
people install the software on one server and share it among a large
population of users. Or someone might be tempted to download and
install it once in the 'official' way and then copy either the source
or the binaries to other machines at their site.

It might be possible to compromise by making the software available at
a specific repository and track the downloads from that. I know of
several independent repositories for the centos distro, which provide
access to software that is for whatever reason not part of the
official repository. If you created something like this, you could
keep count of downloads, though I don't think there is a way to
require password login. On the other hand, if download counts were all
you wanted, your existing logs would provide that without the password
roadblock, so probably this misses the point. You are a better judge
of what is feasible on your budget and acceptable to your funding

>There are people out there who have taken it upon themselves to create package distros for NCL, and this counts against us as
>we are then unable to get metrics from those downloads. However, we realize this is a valuable service, so we look the other way.

Thanks for that. As an IT guy with the task of keeping a bunch of
linux boxes available for climate researchers, I really need tools
that help me track what is installed and keep everything up to date
and consistent.

best wishes,

> --Mary
> On Nov 18, 2010, at 11:52 AM, David Burns wrote:
>> I have some users that want ncl, nco, ncview, and udunits. We mostly use
>> centos, which does have ncl and udunits packages, but nothing for nco and
>> ncview. I noticed that ubuntu does have packages for nco and ncview, but not
>> for ncl or udunits. I think fedora has them all, or at least used to, and
>> centos used to. We used to use fedora, but the frequent release of kernels
>> and short lifetime of each version had us always trying to catch up, so we
>> switched to centos, because it is very similar but they promise to support
>> each version much longer.
>> I've also tried compiling from source, with discouraging results. Without
>> the packaging system to help me, dependencies cause a big problem.
>> I'm not sure even what to ask at this point - how do I support these
>> users? Should I volunteer to make packages (I have no experience)? Make them
>> use a virtual machine with ubuntu installed for stuff available on that
>> platform only?
>> thanks,
>> Dave
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Received on Thu Dec 9 15:17:17 2010

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