Any interest in Debian packages of Geant 4?
Here is a question for other HEP / nuclear physicists on the lists.
Please follow up only to debian-science.
Needing to do some Monte Carlo simulations for the last bit of work on
my thesis, I was once again reminded how much of a pain compiling Geant4
from source is. As a result I've spent some time over the last few days
Debianizing it. The packages are still very rough so I'm not making
them public (yet), but I am curious to know whether there is enough
interest in Geant 4 on Debian to make it worthwhile to eventually have
it in the official archive.
The total installed size of the packages is 120 MB, not including the
data files . I would be reluctant to put this huge chunk of code in
the archive unless there is a demand for it. (Plus *another* 100 MB for
James Ferrando's unofficial package of the CLHEP library, although this
could be reduced to 50 MB by including only the merged libCLHEP.so and
not the component libraries libCLHEP-<whatever>.so.) The Geant 4
packages could be cut down from 120 to 97 MB by only distributing the
static libraries (upstream doesn't version the shared libraries so they
aren't very safe to use), but still!
For comparison, in Sid, a reasonably complete OpenOffice.org 2
installation from Debian packages is 200 MB, and tetex-bin + tetex-base
+ tetex-extra is 127 MB -- both of these have a lot more users than
Geant 4 would. If there isn't enough desire for Geant 4 in Debian's
official archive, I might be able to keep unofficial .debs around in a
separate repository when they are more polished. I'll post occasional
updates on the progress of this to debian-science.
 The data files total 473 MB when uncompressed, and are probably
non-free. Fortunately they are optional. I would definitely not upload
them into Debian, but instead would create a "geant4-data-installer"
package in contrib that downloaded them from CERN's web site - let CERN
pay for the bandwidth!
Happy Holidays to all,
Kevin B. McCarty <email@example.com> Physics Department
WWW: http://www.princeton.edu/~kmccarty/ Princeton University
GPG: public key ID 4F83C751 Princeton, NJ 08544