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Bug#66190: treetool: Treetool causes arithmetic exception/file open on alpha


While not the original author, I was briefly responsible for maintaining treetool around 1994 for the Ribosomal Database Project at the University of Illinois. Treetool was originally written for SunOS (ver 3.x?) and VMS. As you see, there are a number of problems with the code, including some portions that are very specific to the old Sun compiler and graphics library.

I left the project in 1995, and the project itself moved to Michigan State University in 1997. I believe that treetool was abandoned in 1995, and I never received formal permission to maintain or modify the code.

Attempts to reach the original author of treetool have failed since 1995. I did receive verbal permission from the original PI to work on the code in late 2001, but formal written permission has never obtained.

In the meantime, several others have made modifications to treetool, most notably the folks involved in the debian package. I don't believe they ever obtained permission to modify the code either.

I've always liked this program (although big chunks of the code stink) and I long to re-write it for Linux and PC, but I'm not sure it's worthwhile given the problems with permissions/ownership and small number of users. Currently, I code to feed my family, so fun freebies are pretty far down on the list. That said, if I can assist I would be glad to. I currently have access to Solaris (SPARC) and x86-based Linux boxes.

If you have the ability to modify the code for your platform, I would go ahead and do so.

Mike McCaughey

At 3:43 PM +0200 6/12/02, Helge Kreutzmann wrote:
Hello !
On Wed, Jun 12, 2002 at 02:07:40PM +0200, Tille, Andreas wrote:
 On Wed, 12 Jun 2002, Helge Kreutzmann wrote:
 > This is the same impression I have looking at the lots of unpleasant
 > messages from gcc when compiling the programm. Looks very 32bit
 > specific.
 Exactly.  On the other hand I verified that it works perfactly at
 Sparc II processor which is 64 Bit as well.

You are right there because it dies with an arithmetic exception and
not with a Segmentation Fault which leads me to an idea.

The alpha CPU does *not* implement the MIEE standard, thus being fast.
Programmers who expect divisions by zero to return a NaN will be
disappointed. But you can force this behaviour by accepting a
performance penalty with a special compiler flag. I'll try that at
home tonight.

Did you just try the email adress of the original maintainer or did
you any further research ? Maybe some group member of the MIT group
can assist in finding a responsible person ? Maybe the bug submitter
(Mrs. Hoef-Emden) who has some additional knowledge in the area can
help location the author(s) or at least some person remotly involved ?



Helge Kreutzmann, Dipl.-Phys. Helge.Kreutzmann@itp.uni-hannover.de gpg signed mail preferred gpg-key: finger kreutzm@rigel.itp.uni-hannover.de
    64bit GNU powered                  http://www.itp.uni-hannover.de/~kreutzm
       Help keep free software "libre": http://www.freepatents.org/


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