[aprssig] Xastir install issues

Bill Diaz william.diaz at comcast.net
Wed Nov 30 07:59:29 CST 2005

  See below:

>-----Original Message-----
>From: aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org 
>[mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org] On Behalf Of Curt Mills
>Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 01:37
>To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
>Subject: RE: [aprssig] Xastir install issues
>On Tue, 29 Nov 2005, Bill Diaz wrote:
>> Until XAstir can provide the same install functionality of 
>operating systems
>> in use by the majority of APRS users,
>If we ever do that, somebody put me out of my misery...
>Your typical Windows application these days installs new or upgraded
>DLL's into the OS itself, often making the OS unstable.

Totally untrue.  BTW, this thread is about the difficulty about installing
XAstir but you insist on bashing windows and other APRS applications.

>As I understand it, Cygwin doesn't install itself INTO the operating
>system directories at all.  It installs into a separate directory,
>so it is easy to uninstall and won't affect your basic OS.

And CygWin may not install as intended.  Dave Baxter may disagree with your
statement "wont' affect your basic OS".

>Same for Xastir, it installs into non-OS directories on every OS it
>installs/runs on.  To uninstall it, just delete all of the files.

Not aware of any APRS application that installs in the "OS directory".
Sure, supporting files may be needed by some application and are placed in
OS directories.  Some APRS applications don't use an installer and can be
removed by deleting the files too.  

>If anyone wishes to uninstall Xastir I can name the directory trees
>that Xastir creates for itself off the top of my head.  You can then
>delete those few trees and it is completely uninstalled.

Hmmm.  You mean I can't just call up a standard program to remove XAstir
without knowing what directories XAstir uses?

>As for Cygwin, I removed/reinstalled Cygwin quite a few times while
>I was writing the README.win32 document initially.  Somebody correct
>me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall it installing anything in any
>place other than the place I told it to install, which in my case
>was C:/cygwin

>Now, Cygwin installs don't always go smoothly.  I've had some
>download sites that don't work for me, so I've had to choose others.
>Sometimes they hang up in the middle.  I just restart again,
>sometimes choosing a different download site, and eventually it
>works.  Hard to complain when it's free.  It's a large package.

Easy to complain if you can't get it installed, regardless of the cost.

>Sometimes there are problems with Cygwin when first
>downloaded/upgraded.  It's a very complicated product they have
>there, and they make mistakes too.  They usually correct such
>problems within a few days and a quick Cygwin updates fixes these
>problems.  The later updates are much faster than the initial full

>These are all Cygwin problems, not Xastir problems.  Keep them
>separate.  For the most part Cygwin runs fine, and Xastir runs
>exceptionally well.  Once you have a full development environment
>going you can update Xastir at any time quickly and easily to the
>latest version.  Cygwin updates are fast too.

How do you separate CygWin from XAstir if Xastir requires CygWin to be
installed before you can install XAstir?  It seems to me, a failure of
CygWin to install will cause the XAstir installation to fail.

>> it should not be promoted as a
>> replacement for other APRS applications.

>I really wonder what would cause someone to write such a sentence.
>We have in the neighborhood of 195 _continuous_ Xastir users (from
>parsing the INET stream), with another 200-300 that are part-time
>users.  With that many people running it and happy with it and it's
>progress, why NOT promote it as a replacement for other APRS
>applications?  Particularly if it might encourage people at some
>point to try other Unix/Linux applications, and perhaps migrate to a
>better OS someday, like MacOSX, Linux, or FreeBSD?

Do us the courtesy of including the original statement rather than providing
it totally out of context.  I find tactics of this type totally abhorrent.
My full and complete statement was:

"Until XAstir can provide the same install functionality of operating
systems in use by the majority of APRS users, it should not be promoted as a
replacement for other APRS applications."

I stand by that statement and still feel the promotion of XAstir without
full disclosure of the difficulities which may me encounterd by some users
is a disservice to the APRS community.  

Which OS is "better" is a matter of opinion.  I am trying to keep this
on-topic, "XAStir install issues" but you keep trying to start an OS war
rather than directly discussing the issue at hand.

>I've heard several users say that it's the best APRS application
>ever developed.  No, I'm not saying I believe that myself, at least
>not in the general sense, but Xastir has it's good points here and
>there.  My feeling is that whatever works best for you is the best
>APRS app ever written, for you.

Ok, but if I can't get it to work, how should I rate it, on a scale of 1 to
10?  No way to substantiate your claims and form an opinion of my own.

>> Give me an exectuable that will
>> install Cygwin, and an executable, ready to run version of 
>XAstir and I will
>> install it immediately.  To my knowledge this is simply not 
>possible today.

>If you're happy running what you're running, why trash what other
>people are happy running?  Why are you considering changing to
>another app yourself?

Please re-read my statement above and explain to me how I "trashed" what
other people are running.  Stay on topic, "XAstir install issues" in case
you forgot.  My statement directly relates to difficulty of installing

The only reason I would attempt to install it, is to 
>I recall you have some ties to at least one commercial map company:
>PMapServer7 which ties between Precision Mapping and UI-View.  Does
>that slant your views toward the open-source programs?  Those of us
>who choose to do free map/APRS programs and use free maps?

Once again, this thread is about "XAstir install issues" in case you have
forgotten again.  You continually refuse to discuss this issue and attempt
to force the thread in another direction.  

This thread is not about open source programs, other programs I have written
or who I have business relationships with.  Your tactics won't work, I will
stay on topic after confirming that I did modify Roger Barker's PMapServer
source code to work with Precision Mapping 7 at no charge the UiView users,
I have written a freeware add-on to UiView, and I sometimes provide
consulting services to UnderTow Software.

>> What we need is some truth in XAstir advertising, similar to the drug
>> commericals we see on TV, detailing all of the side affects. 
>For example,
>> "Side effects include severe heartburn due to the number of 
>hours likely to
>> be spent trying to install CygWin, and XAstir.  Other side 
>effects may
>> include a trashed computer, or loss of many hours which 
>could have been
>> spent operating an easy to install APRS application".  Until 
>we get truth in
>> adverstising, I think non-unix users should ignore all of the XAstir
>> promotional hype.

>Great.  Then lets get truth in advertising for Windows too.  I've
>spent many a weekend, sometimes entire weeks, trying to reinstall
>Windows and make it happy again here at the house.  The day I
>finally turned my machine from a dual-boot (actually
>multi-multi-boot) into a single-boot Linux system was the day I
>stopped doing so much maintenance on my computer here at home.  It
>just runs and runs, plus updates are a breeze.  I run SuSE Linux by
>the way, in case anyone else wants to duplicate this feat.  My wife
>is now also running a Linux box.  My kids are the only hold-out,
>running a dual-boot Linux/Win98se box because they have games on
>each OS.  When they start doing serious schoolwork on the box
>they'll be using the Linux side of it.

Curt, this thread is about "XAstir install issues", remember?  You really
need to stay on topic and stop trying to start an OS war.

>> The bottom line for the typical, non-techinal Windows user:  
>If you want to
>> learn about Linux, and have the time and resources required, 
>by all means
>> join the XAstir mailing list.  Expect to spend days, if not 
>weeks getting
>> XAstir up and running.  It is entirely possible you will NEVER get it
>> running on your Windows machine.  If you do succeed, each 
>time a new XAstir
>> version comes out, you will need to re-compile it to get the 
>new version
>> executable.  Enjoy.
>That's an incredibly biased opinion.  Did something happen somewhere
>along the way to sour you to the open-source way of doing things?
>To Linux/Unix?  Does viewing my .sig at the end of each message fuel
>hatred for Xastir or Linux in general, or just make you rethink your
>Windows position?  It's intended to be a slam at MS, not of each
>Windows user.  Pisses some people off nevertheless.

One thing that sours me, is your repeated refusal to address the topic
"XAstir install issues" and your continual attempts to change the subject.  

>Most people that have trouble ask on the Xastir list, receive help
>within a few minutes or perhaps hours if they ask in the middle of
>the night, and they're up and running shortly thereafter.  It's nice
>that you have so much experience in the matter that you are willing
>to share with everyone though.  I'm sure many will appreciate being
>turned away before it was too late for them and they wasted all
>their time.  ;-)

What is wrong with truth in advertising?  Don't users have the right to know
the difficulties they may encounter if they follow your recommendations to
install XAstir?  Your continual attempts to change the subject and refusal
to address the "XAstir install issues" show me that you are not interested
in providing potential users with sufficient information to make an informed

>One of the Windows links on the Binary Download page is to a company
>in Canada that is distributing Xastir on CD to their customers.  For
>installing on Windows machines.  Must work for somebody, eh?  If a
>commercial company can rely on it, I would think a hobbiest might be
>able to as well.

Not sure which site you are referring to but in a previous post I stated:
I went to the lintronix site and looked at the instructions.  
Also looked at http://www.lintronix.com/winxastir/Readme1st.txt
And found the following:

- WinXastir -- Xastir on Windows -
- last updated 23-May-2004 09:29 -

WinXastir is a packaged CDROM, available from Lintronix, to
provide an easier and quicker method for installing both Cygwin
and Xastir on a Windows computer system.

Note there are no guarantees this will work.  This software
depends on a large number of libraries and operating system
dependencies.  I and many other Xastir users test and use
it daily.  However, every computer and every installation
is unique and may not run Xastir.   The WinXastir disk was
developed to simplify the downloading, installation and 
execution of programs and resources freely available on
the Internet.  There is no warrantee that it will run or perform
any specific function on any computer.   The Xastir mailing
list is the preferred source for Xastir and Cygwin installation
issues.  For questions or suggestions specific to the WinXastir
CD - please Email to winxastir at lintronix.com.
<End Quote>

This statement seems to be at odds with your position.  Obviously, Lintronix
understands the issues and is quite willing to disclose them to their
customers, why can't you?  I think Lintronix should be commended for their
efforts to not only provide users with a simplified method to install
Xastir, but for their commitment to truth in advertising.

Do you agree with the Lintronix assessment or not?  I don't expect a
straight answer out of you, and surely feel you will try to change the
subject.  Of course you may also say something to the effect "that is not a
bug, that is a feature".

Bill KC9XG

>This day has really cut into my development time.  Perhaps one of
>these days I'll have to start unsubscribing to the less technical
>lists and concentrate on coding and supporting the users with my
>free time instead.  That's the fun stuff, and why I do what I do.
>Curt, WE7U.				archer at eskimo dot com
>  Lotto:  A tax on people who are bad at math. - unknown
>Windows:  Microsoft's tax on computer illiterates. - WE7U.
>The world DOES revolve around me:  I picked the coordinate system!"
>aprssig mailing list
>aprssig at lists.tapr.org

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