This webinar is part of the Blue Waters Software Engineering webinar track.
High performance computing training and education typically emphasizes the first-principles of scientific programming, such as numerical algorithms and parallel programming techniques. However, many computational scientists need to know how to compile and link to applications built by others. Likewise, those who create the libraries and applications need to understand how to package their code it so that it is straightforward for others to use. In this webinar, we will go through the process of building and installing open-source software. The focus will be on packages that use a configure script generated by the GNU Autoconf utility, since most open-source packages provide such a script. I will summarize my observations on the most common difficulties computational scientists encounter when trying to build and install open-source software themselves, and how to address them. I will also discuss common deficiencies I have found in the packaging of open-source scientific packages will also be discussed, along with some suggestions for correcting them.