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Best way to report install bugs?

asked 2021-06-22 13:52:02 +0200

smbelcas gravatar image

Hi! I have a handful of students and staff who can't install Sage 9.2 on the Mac. Their operating systems vary (I think they're mostly Big Sur), their architecture varies (some Intel, some M1), their expertise levels vary (the students are mostly new at software installs, two of the staff have degrees in CS) and the errors they're encountering vary slightly (also I don't have access to most of them). I'd like the developers to know about these recurring issues.

Additionally, the github pages claim that the app is signed/notarized, but almost all my Mac users got "developer not verified" errors.

And I don't actually know whether this is a bug or not: Every time I start Sage I have to choose between Terminal and Jupyter notebooks, which was not the case prior to 9.2, but is irritating as an extra step. In most applications such a choice would only appear when holding down CTRL while starting the app.

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answered 2021-06-22 14:31:52 +0200

slelievre gravatar image

updated 2021-06-23 21:06:02 +0200

I recommend the latest version of Sage -- currently Sage 9.3, not 9.2.

Regarding the macOS app:

All versions there are signed and notarized. They will not give any "developer not verified" error.

When opening them (or any app not installed via the Mac app store), macOS displays a dialog:

Download dialog

To get a non-signed and non-notarized version, you would need to visit the download-mac page on the SageMath website, select a mirror, click "intel", click "old", then get an ancient app from that page. Arguably that page should warn about that, and point users to the new Sage-macOS website.

Regarding the option to choose once and for all whether Sage will open in the terminal or in Jupyter, this request is now tracked at:

On Macs with Apple M1 processors, it is now possible to install via Conda, see:

Any user is welcome to report installation problems to the sage-support mailing list, indicating the operating system (and what version of it), the installation method, and the precise problem encountered.

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9.3 is not the latest version. It's a prerelease, and thus not something to be recommended to new users.

Using Conda is not a solution for new users with possibly low computer savvy.

I understand the need for developers to have actual details in order to chase down bugs. In this case, I mostly wanted to report that installation issues are widespread, indicating a need for further testing across Sage versions on Macs---or at least warnings accompanying the install instructions for common issues and potential resolutions. I always try to do a search for such issues/resolutions myself when writing install documentation, but this time the handful of install problems happened after that point. And a lot of users have trouble reporting problems precisely.

smbelcas gravatar imagesmbelcas ( 2021-06-22 15:05:05 +0200 )edit

And also, thank you for adding the request to the tracking system!

smbelcas gravatar imagesmbelcas ( 2021-06-22 15:50:45 +0200 )edit

9.3 is the latest version; 9.4 is currently the prerelease version. This has been the case since the release of 9.3 on May 10.

John Palmieri gravatar imageJohn Palmieri ( 2021-06-22 18:28:21 +0200 )edit

@John Palmieri - yes for Sage, but @smbelcas is talking about the Sage-macOS app, where currently the Sage 9.3 app is labeled as a prerelease (of the app installer, not of Sage).

@smbelcas - I would encourage users to try the Sage 9.3 "prerelease" app and report any problems (hopefully it will just install smoothly and the "prerelease" mention on the app can be removed!).

slelievre gravatar imageslelievre ( 2021-06-22 20:54:08 +0200 )edit

If it were me having the problems, I'd install 9.3, but for an entire class of students who are new users of Sage, using "prerelease" stuff is just opening a can of worms. Better to have everyone on the same version (which when we wrote the documentation had to be 9.2... we would have rewritten last week if 9.3 were a full release for Mac).

smbelcas gravatar imagesmbelcas ( 2021-06-23 06:16:50 +0200 )edit

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Asked: 2021-06-22 13:52:02 +0200

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Last updated: Jun 23 '21