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Re: Mac version of Ferret

Hi Glenn,

I too was (am) interested in a Mac port of Ferret. As you may know, the
source code for v5 is planned for release in a couple of months (when
v5 becomes an official release). I don't know that Ferret is entirely
written in F77. I would suspect that there may be portions (if not
significant amounts) of C/C++ code. However, if you have code warrior
a PCI based mac, I think that your efforts in providing a mac port would
be well rewarded. The issues that pose a problem on non unix/X platforms
concern the display of graphics. Nonetheless, it is possible to separate
the compute and graphics engines of Ferret to then produce graphical 
output with other packages. WebFerret may also be part of this solution
although I don't know of its internals yet.

I am interested in producing a BeOS (http://www.be.com) port of Ferret
which entails similar (but not quite) issues as the MacOS port. BeOS
uses OpenGL for graphical output and, despite being a POSIX compliant
OS, it does not make use of an X server (although one has also been
built from source and available). Launching X under MacOS or BeOS 
would be analogous to the use of X under NeXT/OpenStep which uses 
display postscript for rendering purposes. Perhaps an X server is
already available for the Mac (I wouldn't be surprised), but this
solution is not quite as satisfying as graphics rendering under the
native interface (Quickdraw?).

I have succeeded in porting a high quality graphics package called Gri 
(or the latest form is called Gre) to the BeOS and it would be an 
interesting option for graphic output purposes (the mechanisms of which
remain to be studied) under both the BeOS and MacOS. Gri/Gre outputs
vector graphics directly into postscript.

Finally, if you have a PCI based PPC Mac or an x86 machine (Pentium 90
higher) and like MacOS you should give BeOS a spin; you're going to love
it. Perhaps not quite as stable yet as unix/linux but considerably more 
stable than windows or macos. It also has a blend of a unix-like command 
line interface as well as a MacOS-like graphical interface (much slicker
in my opinion). I have compiled and tested Gri (and soon I hope Ferret)
on a PII/233 under BeOS and the speed is remarkable; a factor of 2
faster than under Linux. I trust that Ferret will benefit in the same
way provided that a port can be accomplished. I have yet to notify the
authors of Gri of the successful BeOS port.

I hope this proves useful.


Glenn Carver wrote:
> Does anyone know of a Mac/PowerMac version of Ferret in existence. I
> couldn't find any mention of one on the ftp site or FAQ. Although I use
> Unix at work I wouldn't mind a Mac version for home use.
> If not, I *might* be able to put in some time on a version myself as I have
> access to a F77 compiler and CodeWarrior. I'll be damned if there's going
> to be a win9/nt version without a mac one.
>     Glenn
> ----
> Dr. Glenn Carver, Senior Research Associate,
> Centre for Atmospheric Science, Chemistry Dept., Cambridge University, UK
> mailto:Glenn.Carver@atm.ch.cam.ac.uk   http://www.atm.ch.cam.ac.uk/~glenn/
>               "I never think of the future, it comes soon enough"
>                    - Albert Einstein

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