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Bug#608922: ITP: matlab -- integrate local Matlab installations into the Debian system

Package: wnpp
Severity: wishlist
Owner: Michael Hanke <mih@debian.org>

* Package name    : matlab
  Version         : 0.0.13
  Upstream Author : Michael Hanke <mih@debian.org>
* URL             : http://neuro.debian.net/pkgs/matlab.html
* License         : GPL
  Programming Lang: POSIX shell
  Description     : integrate local Matlab installations into the Debian system

 This package does NOT provide Matlab (TM). It merely helps sysadmins
 integrate local installations in the Debian system to handle this proprietary
 software in a more coherent way. Moreover, this package can be used as a
 runtime dependency for packages that install Matlab code and, for example,
 need to compile MEX extensions.
 One or more Matlab installations can be registered with Debian's alternatives
 system, and a helper utility to build MEX extensions is provided. All
 configuration is conveniently done via debconf.


 Analogous to Octave a Makefile snippet is provided that configures the
 locations for architecture independent M-files, binary MEX-extensions, and
 there corresponding sources. This package can be used as a build-dependency
 by other packages shipping Matlab toolboxes.


 There is already at least one package in Debian that installs MATLAB
 MEX extensions (http://packages.debian.org/sid/dynare-matlab, #608919).
 This package is inspired by the handling of MEX building implemented in
 this package, but aims at generalizing it and providing a helper for
 other packages.  The NeuroDebian project currently deals with a number
 of packages that _could_ ship MATLAB code. Moreover, we are working on
 making it easier for users and developers of formerly Matlab-only
 software to transition to Octave.  For this purpose it would be very
 useful to have both Octave and Matlab extensions available on a system,
 so that users can switch back and forth between them until full
 compatibility is reached (only going back to Matlab as long as still
 necessary) -- see http://neuro.debian.net/proj_matlab.html

>From README.source:

 Although this whole package is pointless without Matlab (a large non-free
 something) the source package has been placed into 'main' for the following

 It builds a 'matlab-dev' package that other source packages can build depend
 on to figure out where to install MEX sources and M-files (analogous to the
 way Octave packages provide this information via a Makefile snippet). This
 -dev package has nothing to do with Matlab and should go into 'main', as
 otherwise no source package that build-depends on it could go into 'main'.
 That would be suboptimal for otherwise DFSG-compliant package that simply
 also _can_ build MEX extensions (e.g. see the dynare-matlab package in the

 The actual Matlab adaptor package is placed into 'contrib'.

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