I decided to try to help the cause of Bayesian statistics and the open
source effort of the OpenBUGS group (http://www.openbugs.info/w/
making some packages. In case you are not a statistically-inclined
person, it is worth knowing that Bayesian Updating with Gibbs Sampling
(BUGS) has caused something of a methodological landslide since the
early 1990s, helping scholars to model processes that were thought to
be too difficult.
In Linux, we do not have access to the OpenBUGS GUI, which
I've built deb and rpm packages for RedHat, Fedora and Ubuntu. They
are available in my webspace and in the project.
I wish these could be in the official linux repositories, but I've not
tried to put these into an official repository because there are 2
problems that seem prohibitive.
First, the (now open) code for OpenBugs is written in Object Pascal
and it requires a compiler framework called "Black Box" which is, as
far as I can understand, available only for MS Windows. The OpenBUGS
team compiles that library, and then for linux we use some accessor
scripts to send jobs to it.
This, of course, goes against the packaging policy that pre-compiled
libraries are prohibited.
I was wondering if there could be an exception here, since the code is
actually available and open. This is more reasonable than
re-packaging the closed Nvidia drivers, for example.
Second, there is a little packaging problem for 64 bit systems. The
library that is provided is only 32 bit, and to build it for a 64 bit
system, there is a somewhat confusing situation. The library itself
gets put into /usr/lib, which is supposed to be for 64 bit libraries.
And to make the whole thing package up in a workable way, the arch
ends up saying the packge is x86_64, even though it is only 32 bit.
To run OpenBUGS on a 64 bit system, one h as to install the 32bit libc
I've built the RPM on a 32bit system, it comes out with the proper x86
target in the file name,but that package will not instlal on the 64
bit systems. Should it? (As I said, I can build the package on the 64
bit system, and it comes out with a 64 bit file name, but it is really
32 bits.). Oh, bother, this is confusing to me, I can't imagine your
On the other hand, the ones I build on a 64 bit system:
Show up with 64bit names even though they are 32 bit programs:
In the current Fedora framework, I can't understand if that is
supposed to happen.
Paul E. Johnson
Professor, Political Science
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
University of Kansas