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Declarative dependency management for Matlab.
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README.md
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ToolboxToolbox

Declarative dependency management for Matlab.

Intro

The ToolboxToolbox is a declarative dependency management tool for Matlab.

This means you can write down dependencies for your Matlab projects, in a Matlab struct or JSON file. Then the ToolboxToolbox will go get them for you and put them on your Matlab path.

You can also share your JSON configuration files on the ToolboxHub's ToolboxRegistry. This makes it easy to share toolboxes and install them by name.

Here's some more about what motivated the ToolboxToolbox.

Installation

To install the ToolboxToolbox itself, you have to obtain the code and do a little bit of setup. The following should work on OS X or Linux:

Use Git to get the ToolboxToolbox code:

git clone https://github.com/ToolboxHub/ToolboxToolbox.git

Set up your Matlab userpath() and startup.m. These let Matlab find the ToolboxToolbox when it starts. The startup.m also gives you some sensible defaults for ToolboxToolbox preferences, like where you cloned the ToolboxToolbox, and where to save other installed toolboxes.

Find your Matlab "User Path"

If you already know your Matlab "user path", you can skip this step. If you want to know your user path, you can just type userpath() in Matlab. Or from the terminal, matlab -nodisplay -r "disp(userpath());exit".

You'll get a string like /Users/ben/Documents/MATLAB:. Omit the last : to get the user path we need below.

Create your Matlab startup.m

Copy the ToolboxToolbox sampleStartup.m to your Matlab user path, with the name startup.m. From the terminal this would be:

cp -p (where-you-cloned-it)/ToolboxToolbox/sampleStartup.m (your-userpath)/startup.m

Now you can view and edit default preferences by editing your copy of startup.m.

Test It

In Matlab, try deploying a sample toolbox called sample-repo, which contains a file called master.txt. You should find this file on your Matlab path.

tbUse('sample-repo');
which master.txt

You should see results like the following:

>> tbUse('sample-repo')
Updating "ToolboxRegistry".
Obtaining "sample-repo".
Adding ToolboxToolbox to path at "/home/ben/ToolboxToolbox".
Adding "sample-repo" to path at "/home/ben/toolboxes/sample-repo".
Looks good: all toolboxes deployed OK.

>> which master.txt
/home/ben/toolboxes/sample-repo/master.txt

Simple Usages

Here are some simple usage examples for ToolboxToolbox. There are more examples in the ToolboxToolbox code.

Config in Matlab Struct

You can declare toolboxes that you want in a Matlab struct, and deploy them directly from the struct. Here's an example that obtains the sample-repo using Git.

record = tbToolboxRecord('name', 'sample-repo', 'type', 'git', 'url', 'https://github.com/ToolboxHub/sample-repo.git');
tbDeployToolboxes('config', record);
which master.txt

You should see results like this:

>> record = tbToolboxRecord('name', 'sample-repo', 'type', 'git', 'url', 'https://github.com/ToolboxHub/sample-repo.git');
>> tbDeployToolboxes('config', record);
Updating "ToolboxRegistry".
Obtaining "sample-repo".
Adding ToolboxToolbox to path at "/home/ben/ToolboxToolbox".
Adding "sample-repo" to path at "/home/ben/toolboxes/sample-repo".
Looks good: all toolboxes deployed OK.

>> which master.txt
/home/ben/toolboxes/sample-repo/master.txt
>> 

Config in JSON

You can also save your struct configuration in a JSON file to use later or share with others.

record = tbToolboxRecord('name', 'sample-repo', 'type', 'git', 'url', 'https://github.com/ToolboxHub/sample-repo.git');
configPath = fullfile(tempdir(), 'sample-config.json');
tbWriteConfig(record, 'configPath', configPath);
tbDeployToolboxes('configPath', configPath);
which master.txt

You should see results like this:

>> record = tbToolboxRecord('name', 'sample-repo', 'type', 'git', 'url', 'https://github.com/ToolboxHub/sample-repo.git');
>> configPath = fullfile(tempdir(), 'sample-config.json');
>> tbWriteConfig(record, 'configPath', configPath);
>> tbDeployToolboxes('configPath', configPath);
Updating "ToolboxRegistry".
Updating "sample-repo".
Adding ToolboxToolbox to path at "/home/ben/ToolboxToolbox".
Adding "sample-repo" to path at "/home/ben/toolboxes/sample-repo".
Looks good: all toolboxes deployed OK.

>> which master.txt
/home/ben/toolboxes/sample-repo/master.txt

Config from ToolboxHub ToolboxRegistry

So far so good.

But things get really fun when you and others share your JSON configuration on the ToolboxHub ToolboxRegistry. The sample-repo is already there.

You can use the convenience utility tbUse() to install registered toolboxes by name:

tbUse('sample-repo');
which master.txt

You should get results like the following:

>> tbUse('sample-repo');
Updating "ToolboxRegistry".
Updating "sample-repo".
Adding ToolboxToolbox to path at "/home/ben/ToolboxToolbox".
Adding "sample-repo" to path at "/home/ben/toolboxes/sample-repo".
Looks good: all toolboxes deployed OK.

>> which master.txt
/home/ben/toolboxes/sample-repo/master.txt

Toolbox Records and Types

You can declare toolboxes of several types using the tbToolboxRecord() function. See details at Toolbox Records and Types.

Write Your Own Strategy

You can extend the ToolboxToolbox to support additional types of toolbox. See details at Custom Toolbox Strategies.

Contributing

If you want to contribute your own toolbox configuration to this public registry -- thanks! Here's how:

  • Clone the ToolboxRegistry repository on GitHub.
  • Commit your JSON configuration file to the /configurations folder.
  • Create a Pull Request from your fork so that we can see your contribution and merge it in.

The same goes for the ToolboxToolbox itself. Please fork this repository and create pull requests.

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