I'm pleased to see that we have a large and expanding number
of contributed packages on the gretl server. Good work, guys!
If you're not a package author the rest of this mail may not
concern you but if you are an author, please read on.
I've been running various checks on the gfn files, (a) to
ensure that changes in gretl CVS haven't broken any of them
and (b) to check that the packages themselves are in working
order. I found a few small bugs in the packages (noted below)
but first let me emphasize a general point: a valid package
MUST contain a self-contained and functional sample script.
This is for the benefit of both the end user and the package
checker (me, at present): I need to be able to extract the
sample script from each package and run it "as is" to check
that the package actually works.
A problem with several packages on the server is that the
sample script is broken in some way. The most common breakage
is that the "open" command is used but no valid datafile name
is provided. The argument to "open" must be either (a) the
name of a file that's included in the gretl distribution or
(b) a valid URL of the form
that points to a file of a type that gretl can open. Case (a)
is preferable; case (b) is OK provided that the URL is likely
to remain stable. Also note that in case (a) a full path
should NOT be given (that's specific to your system), just the
plain name of the file, as in
Note that if you can't come up with suitable data input for
your sample script in either of the ways just mentioned, it's
OK to use the "nulldata" command and construct artificial
data. In that case you should include a "set seed" line so
that the output is reproducible.
Another problem with some packages is that the command to
"include" the gfn file is broken. This must always just give
the plain package name, as in
without any path stuff. And the include command should not be
Specifics on the packages:
When I found a trivial problem with a package, I fixed the gfn
file myself and uploaded the fixed version to the server. If
any of the following packages are yours, please sync your own
copy to the version that's on the server.
* clustered_ols.gfn : The function call in the sample script
didn't match the name of the function in the package.
* hetero.gfn : The line "include hetero.gfn" was duplicated.
* HIP.gfn : Wrong command "include ../HIP.gfn".
* SETAR.gfn : The "open" command was invalid (and there was
some unsupported use of @variables as arguments to printf).
For the following gfn files the sample script was invalid and
I wasn't in a position to fix it myself:
For the time being I'm moving these files out of the public
area on the server. If you have a package on this list, please
review it and see if you can come up with a working sample
script -- we'd like to get your package back on line!
If you need to grab a copy from the server, see