Swiss Emphemeris GNU

Swiss Ephemeris AutoTools


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FAQ

What is Swiss Ephemeris AutoTools?

The Swiss Ephemeris AutoTools replaces the original Swiss Ephemeris build system, (a GNU Makefile), with an AutoTools build system.

Then Swiss Ephemeris AutoTools is a fork of the Swiss Ephemeris?

Not really. All the original .c and .h files are unchanged. The packager feels not competent to change these. The original Makefile is replaced with an AutoTools setup. The most you could say is that Swiss Ephemeris AutoTools is a fork of the Swiss Ephemeris build system.

If the .c and .h files are unchanged why are they available under the Swiss Ephemeris Autotools subversion repository?

So developers may conveniently find all the necessary files in one place and to follow the GPL.

How is the Swiss Ephemeris AutoTools licensed?

The GPLv2+. The original Swiss Ephemeris is also available under some a proprietary license. If you requires such a license go directly to the Swiss Ephemeris upstream source  do not pass go do not collect $200. The person creating the AutoTools modifications is only licensed under the GPL. Free Software For Ever! Without freedom we have nothing!

Who is responsible for the Swiss Ephemeris AutoTools?

The Swiss Ephemeris Source code was made by Dieter Koch and Alois Treindl of  Astrodienst. The modifications to the Swiss Ephemeris build system was made by Paul Elliott.

What does the Swiss Ephemeris AutoTools hope to accomplish?

To get the Swiss Ephemeris into a format where it can be easily packaged and accepted by the various GNU/Linux distributions.

Why is it important to get the Swiss Ephemeris into the various GNU/Linux distributions?

Almost all GNU/Linux distributions have a requirement that a package can not staticly link to a library that can be used by more than one program especially if that library was written by someone else. The following Free Software/Open Software astrology programs link directly to the Swiss Ephemeris: Skylendar and Maitreya.  There are Swiss Ephemeris extension modules for python, perl, and PHP. The programs OpenAstro, AstroWS, Morinus, and Oborboros use the python module to access the Swiss Ephemeris. I am not aware of a single free software or open software astrology program that runs natively under GNU/Linux that does not link directly or indirectly to the Swiss Ephemeris. Under existing rules none of these program can be made part of  a GNU Linux distribution that does not include the Swiss Ephemeris. Please write me if you know of any other programs that run natively under GNU Linux and use the Swiss Ephemeris.

What is the Status of Swiss Ephemeris AutoTools?

It basically works when used according to instructions. Packages have been build on open build service.   Both the Swiss Ephermeris and its standard data have entered Debian unstable. Superficial testing has been done and the resulting libraries appear to work.

How do I get the source for Swiss Ephemeris AutoTools?

You can check it out using subversion:
svn checkout svn://svn.gna.org/svn/swissephauto/trunk/libswe-1.77.00/

Or you can browse the source in subversion. After it has been tested some more I will make a release.

There is also a project for the Swiss Ephemeris Standard Data.

This is basicly just a copy of the standard data, i.e. the commonly used .se1 files, and a do nothing Makefile so that "make install" knows where to put the data, together with the necessary copyright files.

svn checkout svn://svn.gna.org/svn/swissephauto/trunk/swe-standard-data/
You can also browse the source for the Swiss Ephemeris Data.
Swiss Ephemeris Inside

Swiss Ephemeris Autotools archives AstroDienst

The folks at AstroDienst are excellent astrological programmers who have created a great GPLed library that can serve as a base for astrological free software. However, their distribution practices leave a lot to be desired.

  1. They keep only the latest 2 versions of the  swe_unix_src tarballs on their website. Later versions get rolled off.
  2. The swe_unix_src tarballs contain source mixed with binaries.
  3. The   swe_unix_src tarballs contain binary documentation i.e. pdf and html files, but the source, (microsoft .doc files), is in another file, sweph.zip.
  4. sweph.zip is not archived by version number, so whenever a new version comes out, the old version disappears.
In spite of these problems, everything is GPLed and all the source is available, if you know where to look, so these files may be distributed as free software. To address these problems, the Swiss Ephemeris Autotools will archive some of the AstroDienst tarballs and zip files. In this way, we insure that the original source for the Swiss Ephemeris Autotools distribution will always be available for inspection. So:
  1. The swe_unix_src tarballs used by Swiss Ephemeris Autotools my be found at: http://download.gna.org/swissephauto/astrodienst/
  2. The files named sweph.zip may be found in version dependent sub-directories. For example, the 1.78 version of sweph.zip may be found in http://download.gna.org/swissephauto/astrodienst/sweph1.78/sweph.zip