[ADMB Users] ADMB with gcc, mingw, and/or msys

Jon Schnute schnutej-dfo at shaw.ca
Wed Nov 13 18:56:36 PST 2013

Thanks, Arni. That's very helpful. I didn't quite understand how the process
works, although I have noticed Johnoel's recent (and frequent) changes to
the makefile tree. In the future, I'll use the developers@ rather than the
users@ mailing list to flag such issues. I hope the developers will bear
with me if I bungle around a bit while learning more about your protocols.

I have two thoughts that you might consider:

1. Probably the R developers produced "Rtools"
(http://cran.r-project.org/bin/windows/Rtools/) when they realized that the
"official" open source versions of Unix on Windows needed tweaking to work
with R. Obviously, we're in the same position with ADMB. I suggest that we
produce our own "ADMBtools" to accomplish a similar purpose. This would be
available on the ADMB web site, just as "Rtools" is available (in multiple
versions) on the R web site. Different versions of ADMBtools might be needed
for different versions of ADMB. 

2. If several developers are running experiments with msys/mingw/Rtools, it
would obviously help to maintain a record of the results. That way we could
avoid repeating each other's work. I'm not sure how we could collectively
maintain such a record (the web site?), but it would be great if we could
share our experiences. Disciplined versions of ADMBtools could help focus
the effort.

I'll continue with my own experiments. Hopefully, we can soon build the
current version of AMDB with open source tools on Windows. For many reasons
(too numerous and annoying to mention here), I intensely dislike the
Microsoft route with Visual C++.

Thanks again!


-----Original Message-----
From: Arni Magnusson [mailto:arnima at hafro.is] 
Sent: November-13-13 3:37 PM
To: Jon Schnute
Cc: users at admb-project.org
Subject: Re: ADMB with gcc, mingw, and/or msys

Hi Jon,

Before releasing ADMB-IDE, we try to make sure that all components work
smoothly together. The lag between the last IDE release and more recent
versions of ADMB is mainly due to a new generation of user compilation
scripts (where safe compilation will be the default) that are taking shape
just now.

Like you, we have seen strange error messages with some GCC distributions.
Based on extensive tests last summer, our conclusion is the same as yours:
to make life easier for everyone, we intend to release the next ADMB-IDE
with the GCC compiler that comes with Rtools, and recommend that for
building ADMB from sources.

Building ADMB from sources on Windows has always been a challenge and
continues to be so. As you point out, it's a complex interplay between
installing programs like GCC and make, disabling PATH directories that might
interfere (sometimes sh.exe must be excluded), testing what works to build
ADMB, and finally updating the documentation (in several places, sounds

It's a topic almost worth its own mailing list, but
developers at admb-project.org is probably better than users at . Anyone can
subscribe to developers@ and the discussion is readable and searchable on
the web.

Lately, this aspect of ADMB development has mainly involved Johnoel Ancheta
making changes to the makefile tree, while Chris Grandin and I try building
with different setups. This process can be time-consuming and give strange
results, so if you can lend a hand and test whether Rtools can build ADMB
that would be excellent.

All the best,


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