Ects version 4


Texte fran├žais


Although Ects continues to evolve, the current stable version is 4.3. The source code, the documentation, and executables for Linux and Windows are available here. The documentation for version 4 is in the file doc4.pdf in PDF format. Note that this volume is merely a complement to the two previous volumes of documentation, prepared for versions 2 and 3 of the software. Sorry, but just for the moment, this file is written in French. I'll try to find time to translate it soon. The first volume of documentation, somewhat modified so as to take some account at least of the new aspects of version 4, is in the file doc2.pdf, and the second volume, also somewhat modified, is in doc3.pdf.

There are exercises and examples in the documentation that make use of some data files and some *.ect files. These files are contained in the file demofiles.zip, or in a compressed file demofiles.tar.gz.

Click here for the README file containing useful information about this version of Ects.

For enlightened users who work with Linux, a binary executable can be downloaded. Two gzipped files are available here for 32-bit machines, and here for 64-bit machines. See the README file for more information about these. If your browser does not automatically uncompress it for you on downloading, then you can do so yourself by the command

and similarly for the 64-bit version.

One of the executables ects4_32 and ects4_64 will be produced. However, it is quite possible that the executable will not run, for a number of reasons. If your dynamic libraries are not the same as those I used for the compilation, the best idea is to compile your own executable directly from the source code, which you can download as a tarball.

If your version of Linux is the Debian distribution, then another possibility is to download a Debian package. For release sid, the package is available as ects_4.1.2-1_i386.deb for the 32-bit architecture, and as ects_4.1.2-1_amd64.deb for the 64-bit architecture.

For those unfortunates who remain in the thrall of Windows, you can download a zipped file, Ects4-cygwin.zip. The zip contains the executable ects4.exe, along with three dynamic link libraries, cygwin1.dll, cygreadline6.dll, and cygncurses-8.dll. These four files are also available separately. All four should be kept in the same directory.

Just this year, Mathieu Roussel-Lewis undertook the compilation of version 4.3 of Ects, for Linux, for the Macintosh, and even for Windows. These are all zip files, which, when unzipped, provide the executable ects for the Linux and Mac versions, and ects.exe plus the cygwin dll files for the Windows version. I encourage people to use these rather than the older files, which remain available for the moment just in case.

Since the younger generation is less and less exposed to the use of a command line for the purposes of getting the computer to perform desired tasks, a graphical interface has been created that can be used in conjuction with Ects. Note carefully that it is not a substitute for the Ects executable, which must be present. Rather, it provides access to that executable, and to its output, from a graphical interface that my younger colleagues assure me is modern in its design. It would be very helpful to me if people tried it out, and made comments, either positive or negative. The latter will help me to improve the quality of the interface. For Windows users, the file grects.exe is the relevant executable. For it to run, two further dynamic link libraries are needed: QtCore4.dll and QtGui4.dll. For convenience, the zip file grects.zip can be downloaded and unzipped to provide the two dll files and the executable.

Ects 4 has been found to compile correctly on four operating systems: Linux (Debian), FreeBSD, Macintosh (Darwin), and Windows (Cygwin). This being so, if you work under one of these systems, it is preferable to compile the software for your system from the sources. For this to work, some of the Boost libraries must be available. You can download these (they are all header files, and so independent of the operating system) from the Boost site, http://www.boost.org. If you do not have the privilege level necessary to install the libraries globally on your machine, then you can create a link from the boost directory in the Boost version you downloaded to the include directory in the Ects source tree.

A problem cropped up with the use of the plot command with Windows when not working in the cygwin environment. In that case, in order to be able to run gnuplot, the file sh.exe must be available. It is not necessary that this file should be in the same directory as Ects; what is needed is that it should be in one of the directories in the PATH. If you need it, this file sh.exe can be downloaded here.

Given the problems that have sometimes arisen with gnuplot, I decided to create a drop-in replacement for it. For Windows users, the file ectsplot.exe is an executable file that should be renamed gnuplot.exe and put in the same place as the old gnuplot.exe. The functionality is very similar to that of gnuplot, but there are some extra things, of which the most important is that graphs may be printed directly when they are displayed.

The three dll files and sh.exe are part of the cygwin project. By connecting to their site, you will be able to get updates of these files as they appear, and also get information about how to obtain the source code for the project.

The source code is found in the tarball ects-4.3.tar.gz. The README file is contained in the tar along with the sources and various other files that customarily accompany GNU software. This file, and the INSTALL file, give instructions for compiling and installing Ects.


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