[Ifeffit] [ANN] Larch 0.9.27

Matt Newville newville at cars.uchicago.edu
Sun Dec 13 11:40:50 CST 2015

Hi Folks,

Though I've resisted making an announcement about each minor release of
Larch, I wanted to let everyone know about an important change starting
with the latest release.

As both Bruce and I (and Sam, and probably anyone who has tried) have
experienced,  and many of you have witnessed from discussions on this list,
building and maintaining binary installers for various Windows and
Macintosh generations is a painful and time-/resource-consuming.  For
Larch, as with Demeter, Windows installers have been possible but real
work, and Macintosh installers have been much more difficult.

Starting with Larch 0.9.27, I'm recommending that folks using Mac OSX and
Windows use the free version of Anaconda Python 2.7 from ContinuumIO (
https://www.continuum.io/).   Anaconda Python comes with a very large set
of the standard scientific Python libraries as well as visualization and
development tools.  I highly recommend this package for anyone interested
in learning scientific programming.

For Larch, the main benefits of this approach are 1) very easy installation
and upgrades to packages, and 2) that the default installation goes into
the users home directory, and so can easily be modified (or deleted) by the
user without administrative privileges.

To install Larch with Anaconda Python, the instructions (see
http://xraypy.github.io/xraylarch/installation/index.html) are:

  1.  Download and Install Anaconda Python from

  2. Open a Command Line Terminal
           Windows:  From the Start Menu, open an Anaconda Shell
           Mac OSX: Applications->Utilities->Terminal
      and type:
             conda install -c newville xraylarch

      This will install all the basic software for Larch, and all the
installed programs
      can be run from this terminal.

  3.  To create "clickable icons" (Windows shortcuts or Mac Applications)

       in the same Terminal window.  This will create a Folder named Larch
       your desktop with several Larch applications in it.  Because these
are on
       your desktop, you can move, rename, or delete these without
       any other software.

  4.  To update Larch at any time, you will be able to open a Terminal and
             conda update -c newville xraylarch

For Linux, Anaconda is a fine choice, but seems slightly less important as
the standard package managers have most of the required packages available,
and a source installation of Larch is very easy.

Installing with Anaconda includes all the source code for the Larch plugins
in "share/larch/plugins" under the anaconda folder in your home directory
(or under AppData on Windows). These are dynamically loaded by Larch, so
you can still explore and modify the analysis procedures. However,
installing with Anaconda does not include local copies of the documentation
or examples.  This may change in future  release, but for now these will be
made available for each release at

Let me know if you have any questions or trouble with any of this.

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