[FieldTrip] Debian packaging of fieldtrip

Michael Hanke michael.hanke at gmail.com
Sat Dec 4 14:27:25 CET 2010


I'm one of the NeuroDebian (http://neuro.debian.net) developers and I am
looking into packaging fieldtrip for the Debian operating system. I'd be
glad if you could provide me with some information concerning the
following questions:

1. I cloned the public SVN repository. There are no tags in it. Does
   fieldtrip do actual releases, or is every revision intended to be
   used by users?

2. The repository contains a large number of binaries for various
   platforms. A Debian package cannot ship any of these, as all binaries
   have to be buildable from source. Therefore I stripped all MEX
   extension and third party binaries. This raises the question of how
   to get them rebuilt ;-)

   There are no Makefiles, but there is ft_compile_mex.m. However, that
   doesn't seem to build everything that is shipped with the fieldtrip

3. My initial goal was simply to get enough of fieldtrip running to be able to
   serve as a dependency for our package of the Matlab version of SPM8.
   However, I now discovered that there is a "port" of fieldtrip to
   octave: http://kurage.nimh.nih.gov/meglab/Meg/Software which makes it
   mandatory for me to try to integrate it properly into Debian octave

   Are you aware of this octave port? Is there any plan to incorporate
   this effort?  To what degree is it complete or usable? Or maybe
   current fieldtrip code already runs (partially) on octave?

4. Distribution packaging can sometimes cause problems, because the
   maintainer is not aware of some peculiarities. Do you have a test
   suite that can be used to assess proper functioning of fieldtrip?

   I saw the tutorial and associated data that could serve as a test
   suite, but some tutorial parts only mention compatibility with
   versions of the past, and I wasn't able to locate the actual tutorial
   _code_ for download.

   I also saw http://fieldtrip.fcdonders.nl/development/infrastructure_for_testing
   but it looks more like a plan for the future, correct?

5. I had to strip all 'external' software due to various
   licensing/distribution problems. I wonder to what degree the presence
   of these pieces is critical for fieldtrip functionality -- beside
   obvious lack of support for some file formats?

Thanks in advance for your answers to this long list,


GPG key: 4096R/7FFB9E9B Michael Hanke

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