Dependency hell with darwinports

I have had the need to produce charts and graphs for my work lately – and wanted to start using gnuplot. Should be easy right?  After all, there is a darwinports port available, and install should have been a breeze, with just a:

sudo port install gnuplot

Or so I thought.  For some unknown &!@^% reason, darwinports with its immense intelligence decided that it needed to download 75 other ports that I did not ask for, including its own version of X11, even though Apple does provide a perfectly decent implementation that I have installed.

And guess what, there is not way to uninstall these 75 at one go either. You will need to uninstall one or a few at a time using the

sudo port uninstall <junk>

command and hope that the dependency hell does not bite you … or else it is multiple rounds of fiddling with the command line and hoping that the current uninstall invocation is the last round. Argh!

The solution (to installing gnuplot, that is) was much simpler. After cleaning out the junk that darwinports installed, I proceeded to download the latest gnuplot source and the excellent Aquaterm for a OSX friendly render terminal.

After installing Aquaterm (which is a simple dmg, drag-to-Applications and you are done install), I untarred the gnuplot source, ran the following standard configure/build commands, and was running gnuplot in less than 5 minutes.

./configure –with-readline=builtin
make test
# This launches Aquaterm and runs some nice tests which demonstrate gnuplot’s capabilities
sudo make install

Take that, darwinports!

P.S.:  The bit about using the builtin readline is necessary on my version of OSX (10.5.7) as there is some nasty interplay with the system provided readline version.


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