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fet.pro

README

This is FET version 5.18.0


Program description:

	FET is free timetabling software (licensed under GNU GPL v2 or later).
	This program aims to automatically generate the timetable of a school, high-school or university.
	It may be used for other timetabling purposes.

	FET can mean "Free Educational Timetabling" (the "E" in the middle may also stand for other words, based on your personal preference).

	FET homepage: http://lalescu.ro/liviu/fet/


Requirements:

	FET is created in the following environment: openSUSE 12.1 GNU/Linux distribution, Linux 3.1.10, Xfce 4.10,
	Midnight Commander 4.7.5.3, KDiff3 0.9.96, Qt 4.8.1, gcc 4.7.0, g++ 4.7.0, make 3.82, Valgrind 3.6.1, other great free tools.
	FET can be run on any platform supported by the free software Qt (GNU/Linux, Windows, Mac OS X).

	GNU/Linux, Mac OS X:
	Software:
		make 3.82 or similar (GNU Make)
		gcc 4.7.0 or similar
		g++ 4.7.0 or similar (or gcc-g++, or gcc-c++, the name may vary. This program may be included in the gcc package)
		Qt 4.8.1 or compatible

	Windows:
	For running, you need only the archive of FET compiled for Windows (which contains the MinGW and Qt dlls).
	For compiling, you need Qt and a compatible C++ compiler (MinGW is a possibility).


Download:

	You can download the latest version from the FET homepage, http://lalescu.ro/liviu/fet/


Getting - compiling - installing GNU tools: make, gcc and g++ (or gcc-g++, or gcc-c++):

	GNU/Linux, Mac OS X: Most probably, your platform has these installed by default or available on the internet
	as precompiled packages. If you don't have them, please install them using YaST (on openSUSE), Adept Manager
	(on Ubuntu or Kubuntu) or other package manager.
	To verify that you have the correct packages, write "make --version", "gcc --version" and
	"g++ --version".

	Windows: you need a Qt compatible C++ compiler.
	Maybe an easy option is the MinGW compiler, available inside the Qt SDK or on the Qt download page. You may
	alternatively download MinGW from its homepage.


Getting - compiling - installing Qt:

	Qt homepage: http://qt-project.org/

	You will need Qt 4.8.1 or compatible to compile FET.
	You can get the corresponding version of Qt with your package manager or from the Qt homepage.
	Qt can be used with the LGPL, GPL or commercial license. You may choose between the Libraries or SDK versions.
	Any variant should work.

	GNU/Linux: It is possible to use YaST (or Adept Manager) or other package managers to get your version of Qt, pre-compiled.
	Or you can download, compile and install Qt from its homepage.
	On openSUSE GNU/Linux, which has pre-compiled packages on the internet, one needs to install the packages
	libqt4 and libqt4-devel (libqt4 is installed by default, probably) - to compile+run FET.
	For Ubuntu GNU/Linux (advice from a user): install the packages qt4-qmake and libqt4-dev.

	Windows - Download latest Qt from its homepage.
	If you choose the LGPL Qt for MinGW:
		For the Framework version, you need to install firstly a compatible C++ compiler (see above section "Getting - compiling - installing GNU tools").
		The SDK includes the MinGW C++ compiler.
	The following instructions are for Qt LGPL Framework for MinGW:
	You may want to use the Qt command prompt, in which case you don't need to care about the details below (QTDIR, PATH and QMAKESPEC).
	If you want to use the Windows command prompt:
		Set QTDIR environment variable to C:\Qt\4.8.1
		Add in the PATH environment variable these directories: C:\Qt\4.8.1\bin and C:\mingw\bin
		Set QMAKESPEC environment variable to win32-g++
		(these are the default directories, but you may have chosen different ones, so use them instead).

	Mac OS X:
	Maybe you can get pre-compiled Qt packages for Mac OS X. If not, get Qt from its homepage.

	Note about the Qt "QMAKESPEC" variable: advanced topic, read this if you get Qt errors about the environment not being set, or environment
	variable QMAKESPEC not being set, or if the Qt environment is not set correctly: Qt needs to know the environment you are using. It is usually
	something like: linux-g++, macx-g++ or win32-g++ (platform-compiler). You can find all the supported platforms in the directory "mkspecs" of Qt
	(some usual locations are /usr/share/qt4/mkspecs or /usr/lib/qt4/mkspecs on GNU/Linux or C:\Qt\4.8.1\mkspecs on Windows).
	It seems that Qt automatically finds the platform (there is a default configuration in the "default" subdirectory of the "mkspecs" directory,
	which is created automatically when you install Qt). If the default configuration is not working or is wrong, you may need to set the
	correct QMAKESPEC variable for your platform. Under Windows, you can create an environment variable QMAKESPEC equal to win32-g++
	(if you are using MinGW), under other platforms create an environment variable named QMAKESPEC equal with the correct platform-compiler
	you are working on (for instance macx-g++ or linux-g++).


Compiling FET:

	Note: compilation takes long (maybe even 1 hour, if you are using an older computer). The file
	rules.cpp takes the longest time to compile, maybe even 1 minute or more.

	Note2: the following situation may appear under GNU/Linux, but it could be met also on other platforms.
	Depending on your Qt installation, it may happen that the FET intermediary files and executable are very large (~100 MB for the fet executable
	instead of ~10 MB). It is not sure if this affects the FET speed and performance, but anyway it is unpleasant. In this case, you may want to
	modify some files in your system (Qt files) to improve this. You need to change some Qt configuration files and recompile FET from the beginning
	(remove any temporary files with make distclean or unpack FET sources again, in an empty location).
	Notations: mkspecs is a directory and QMAKE_CFLAGS_RELEASE and QMAKE_CXXFLAGS_RELEASE are two sections (text on two lines) contained in a file
	in a subdirectory of mkspecs (some possible location for these are given in this paragraph, shortly below).
	If mkspecs files for your platform contain the -g flag (text) in the QMAKE_CFLAGS_RELEASE or QMAKE_CXXFLAGS_RELEASE sections, you need to remove
	this flag. If they do not contain -g flag in these sections, then you don't need to remove anything (and most probably the intermediary files and fet
	executable will have normal size).
	More details about where can you find the mkspecs files: under openSUSE GNU/Linux, it seems that for newer versions of Qt (>=4.7.1), the problem
	is no longer present. In the past, the location of this minor problem was in the file /usr/share/qt4/mkspecs/common/g++.conf, at lines 10 and 25,
	you needed to remove the "-g" flag from the QMAKE_CFLAGS_RELEASE and QMAKE_CXXFLAGS_RELEASE sections (root access needed to make this change).
	Under Fedora GNU/Linux for the same problem, a user reported that you need to modify /usr/lib/qt4/mkspecs/common/g++.conf
	and /usr/lib/qt4/mkspecs/linux-g++/qmake.conf (remove the -g flag from QMAKE_CFLAGS_RELEASE and QMAKE_CXXFLAGS_RELEASE sections).
	(The mkspecs directory contains more subdirectories, in the form platform-compiler, you need to search for your corresponding directories/files.
	For instance, GNU/Linux with gcc compiler is named "linux-g++", and you may also need to modify the "common" section).
	
	Note NMkJobs: advice from a user: if you have a multiple core computer, you may be able to split the compilation into more threads, with the -j option for the
	make command, so that the compilation is faster. This option creates a number of compilation threads equal with the number specified along with the -j option.
	Under GNU/Linux or Mac OS X, just write "make -j 2" if you have dual core or "make -j 4" if you have quad core (in case you have quad core and you want
	to keep a core free for other tasks, write "make -j 3"). This is proven to work under GNU/Linux and Mac OS X, but seems not to work under Windows
	(using mingw32-make, the -j argument seems to be ignored, for the time being).

	Currently FET can be compiled with a C++ compiler, using Qt version 4.8.1 or compatible.


	GNU/Linux:
	- You will need Qt 4.8.1 or compatible to compile this program.
	- type "qmake fet.pro" or simply "qmake". You have to use qmake from Qt 4 series, which on some systems
	might be named qmake-qt4 (this command is executed very fast, so don't worry if you get immediate return from it)
	- type "make" (this takes a long time, maybe even 1 hour). See also note NMkJobs above.
	To remove the compiled objects/executable: "make clean" and/or "make distclean".


	Mac OS X:
	2 Variants:

	1. First variant, if you use gcc compiler:
	- You will need Qt 4.8.1 or compatible to compile this program.
	- type "qmake fet.pro" or simply "qmake". You have to use qmake from Qt 4 series, which on some systems
	might be named qmake-qt4. So, "qmake-qt4 fet.pro" might sometimes be needed.
	(this command is executed very fast, so don't worry if you get immediate return from it)
	- IMPORTANT: you might need to write: "qmake -spec macx-g++ fet.pro", if "qmake fet.pro" 
	does not produce a correct makefile. Please see 
	http://lists.trolltech.com/qt-interest/2007-04/thread01126-0.html for details.
	- type "make" (this takes a long time, maybe even 1 hour). See also note NMkJobs above.
	To remove the compiled objects/executable: "make clean" and/or "make distclean".

	2. Another variant:
	- Type "qmake fet.pro" and then "xcodebuild".

	If you encounter problems, please see:
	http://lists.trolltech.com/qt-interest/2007-04/thread01126-0.html


	Windows: MinGW C++ compiler: you need Qt 4.8.1 or compatible, and MinGW.
	You might use other compilers if you want, please see the Qt homepage.
	for other variants. Any C++ compiler that supports Qt should be good.
	You need to run "qmake fet.pro" or "qmake" (this command is executed very fast, so don't worry if you get
	immediate return from it) and then, if you are using MinGW, "mingw32-make" (this takes a long time, maybe even 1 hour) 
	in a command line in the FET directory. See also note NMkJobs above.
	(You can use the command line prompt of Windows or the Qt command line prompt shortcut in the Qt shortcuts menu.)
	Then, you can remove the directories "src" and "tmp", to save up space, if you want.
	For MinGW: you need to copy these 6 files into the FET directory (in the same place as fet.exe):
	(QTDIR is an abbreviation for C:\Qt\4.8.1 if you use Qt 4.8.1)
	QTDIR\bin\mingwm10.dll, QTDIR\bin\libgcc_s_dw2-1.dll,
	QTDIR\bin\QtCore4.dll, QTDIR\bin\QtGui4.dll, QTDIR\bin\QtNetwork4.dll, QTDIR\bin\QtXml4.dll.


Installing FET:

	GNU/Linux, and maybe Mac OS X:
	Please move the whole directory "fet-v.v.v" into the place where you like,
	for instance to the directory "/usr/local/".

	Windows:
	Move the FET directory in a place of your choice.


Running FET:
	Note: The FET main window contains a menu with the items: File, Data, Statistics, Advanced,
	Timetable, Settings, Help. Everything is right if you have that. Optionally, on the main window there may be a toolbox
	containing shortcuts (if selected by the user in the settings. By default it is selected).
	
	Note: to run FET in interface mode, you just need to run the executable named fet or fet.exe.
	No additional parameters are needed/allowed. If you give additional parameters, FET will
	consider that you want to run the command line version (see below instructions for command line version).

	GNU/Linux, and maybe Mac OS X:
	chdir to the directory where the fet executable is (for instance, "cd ~/fet-v.v.v/") and run it with "./fet" or with the suitable command
	for your platform. Alternatively, you may run the executable named fet from the fet-v.v.v directory, using another method. The fet executable
	will be located inside the fet-v.v.v directory after a successful compilation.
	
	Note for Mac OS X about using translations (if you want to run FET into other language): it seems that you need to copy the contents
	of the "translations/" directory into the directory fet-v.v.v/fet.app/Contents/MacOS/translations/ or into the directory /usr/share/fet/translations/
	(if you compiled/installed FET by yourself). Or copy the whole directory translations/ into fet-v.v.v/fet.app/Contents/MacOS/ or into usr/share/fet/
	More notes for the Mac OS X platform, from a user: copying the translations/ directory into the directory fet.app/Contents/MacOS/ is
	possible from the command line in X11 xterm (but it is not possible with the finder program, because the file extension ".app" is
	exclusive for applications, so the program finder interprets a directory with the extension ".app" as an application).

	Windows:
	Run the executable fet.exe (its location is inside the fet-v.v.v directory, you can find it there if you have FET precompiled for Windows or after you compiled it).

	COMMAND LINE: no GUI, just run "fet --inputfile=x [--outputdir=d] [--timelimitseconds=y] [--htmllevel=z] [--language=t] [--printnotavailable=u] [--printbreak=b]
	 [--dividetimeaxisbydays=v] [--printsimultaneousactivities=w] [--randomseedx=rx --randomseedy=ry] [--warnifusingnotperfectconstraints=s]
	 [--warnifusingstudentsminhoursdailywithallowemptydays=p]",
	where	x is the input file, for instance "data.fet"
			d is the path to results directory, without trailing slash or backslash (default is current working path).
				Make sure you have write permissions there.
			y is integer (seconds) (default 2000000000, which is practically infinite).
			z is integer from 0 to 6 and represents the detail level for the generated html timetables
				(default 2, larger values have more details/facilities and larger file sizes).
			t is one of en_US, ar, ca, da, de, el, es, fa, fr, gl, he, hu, id, it, lt, mk, ms, nl, pl, pt_BR, ro, ru, si, sk, sr, tr, uk, uz, vi (default en_US).
			u is either "true" or "false" and represents if you want -x- (for true) or --- (for false) in the generated timetables for the
				not available slots (default true).
			b is either "true" or "false" and represents if you want -X- (for true) or --- (for false) in the generated timetables for the
				break slots (default true).
			v is either true or false, represents if you want html timetables with time-axis divided by days (default false).
			w is either true or false, represents if you want html timetables to show related activities which have constraints with same starting time (default false).
				(for instance, if A1 (T1, G1) and A2 (T2, G2) have constraint activities same starting time, then in T1's timetable will appear also A2, at the same slot
				as A1).
			rx is the random seed X component, minimum 1 to maximum 2147483646, ry is the random seed Y component, minimum 1 to maximum 2147483398
				(you can get the same timetable if the input file is identical, if the FET version is the same and if the random seed X and Y components are the same).
			s is either true or false, represents whether you want a message box to be shown, with a warning, if the input file contains not perfect constraints
				(activity tag max hours daily or students max gaps per day) (default true).
			p is either true or false, represents whether you want a message box to be shown, with a warning, if the input file contains nonstandard constraints
				students min hours daily with allow empty days (default true).

	Alternatively, you can run "fet --version [--outputdir=d]" to get the current FET version.
	where d is the path to results directory, without trailing slash or backslash (default is current working path).
	Make sure you have write permissions there.
	(If you specify the "--version" argument, FET just prints version number on the command line prompt and in the output directory and exits.)
	
	You can ask the FET command line process to stop the timetable generation, by sending it the SIGTERM signal.
	FET will then write the current timetable and the highest stage timetable and exit.

	The result of the operation is logged into file outputdir/logs/result.txt.

	Also, you have in logs the initial order of activities and a list of maximum placed number of activities. If your timetable is impossible, say it stops
	at maximum n placed activities, look at the n+1-st activity in the initial order, for it or its students/teachers may be the problem.

	For the command line version, probably the most useful output to use internally in an application might be the activities_timetable.xml.
	You have of course also the xml timetables for students and teachers and the nicely formatted html timetables to present directly.

	On GNU/Linux and Mac OS X, you'll get a console output to help you with data, along with the files in the directory outputdir/logs/.

	On Windows, there is no console output, only the files in the directory outputdir\logs\ will guide you,
	The authors consider that it is better not to add console output on Windows (it is possible, but it would complicate the interface).
	
	As an additional note for the included command line version of FET: it uses the graphical desktop. If you are a developer and would like to
	obtain a FET executable for use as a command line only application, which will not try to connect to the graphical desktop,
	and which will not open up dialogs to report problems, it is not very difficult. Remove the Qt gui module from FET, get the files from
	the src/engine directory and the files src/interface/fet.h and src/interface/fet.cpp and add them into a new Qt project, and try to compile.
	You will get errors about missing include files, from Qt and from the FET interface files. Remove these include directives from your new project's files.
	You will get errors about missing variables. See where they are defined in the FET interface files and define them similarly in your project.
	You will get errors about undefined functions, like QMessageBox::information(...). Implement the undefined graphical user interface
	functions with dummy functions. There are not too many functions like that.
	Continuing the idea, if you want to be completely independent from Qt, using only standard C++, you can remove all the Qt includes and
	reimplement the used Qt classes QString, QList, QSet, and others (only the member functions which are necessary). Or just get the corresponding
	code from Qt (Please review the Qt licensing options, in this case. Currently, they include LGPL, GPL and commercial).


Languages (translations):

	The translation files which the FET executable needs in order to be able to run in other languages are ending in .qm (like fet_**.qm)
	and they are located in the "translations" directory in the FET distribution.

	FET will search for translations (fet_**.qm files) in the following order:
	1) directly in the directory where the fet executable is,
	2) the directory "translations" in the directory where fet executable is,
	3) the directory /usr/share/fet/translations (under GNU/Linux or Mac OS X).

	So, on:
	Windows: if fet.exe is in C:\fet-v.v.v, fet will search for the file fet_**.qm in
		C:\fet-v.v.v and then in C:\fet-v.v.v\translations
	GNU/Linux: if the fet executable is in ~/fet-v.v.v, fet will search for the file fet_**.qm in
		~/fet-v.v.v, then in ~/fet-v.v.v/translations and then in /usr/share/fet/translations
	Mac OS X: the operation is approximately similar to the one for GNU/Linux.
		The difference is that it seems that the fet application on Mac OS X contains in turn other directories (application directories),
		so FET will search for the translations inside these application directories, not in the fet-v.v.v directory. The GNU/Linux style fet executable
		seems to be located in fet-v.v.v/fet.app/Contents/MacOS, so FET will search for the file fet_**.qm in the directory
		fet-v.v.v/fet.app/Contents/MacOS, then in the directory fet-v.v.v/fet.app/Contents/MacOS/translations,
		then in the directory /usr/share/fet/translations.
		Please see also the Mac OS X note from the section "Running FET".
		More notes for the Mac OS X platform, from a user: copying the translations/ directory into the directory fet.app/Contents/MacOS/ is
		possible from the command line in X11 xterm (but it is not possible with the finder program, because the file extension ".app" is
		exclusive for applications, so the program finder interprets a directory with the extension ".app" as an application).

	What to do if you get stuck with an unknown language: in each language, the submenu (Settings->)Language is translated also in English
		(like: Limba/Language in Romanian). You can select the US English language (en_US abbreviation) and then close and restart FET (press the middle button
		from the dialog that appears after trying to close FET, so that FET will exit without saving the current file).
	Another solution: modify the FET settings on your operating system:
		- Under GNU/Linux, and maybe Mac OS X, usually in your $HOME/.config directory you'll find a directory "fet",
		containing file "fettimetabling.conf". Edit that file - the line beginning with language, instead of language=... (for instance, language=ro),
		make it language=en_US (case sensitive).
		- Under Windows: run regedit.exe (Registry Editor), search key "fet". You will find a section "fet" with sub-section "fettimetabling".
		Modify the value name language (from, for instance, ro, or other language) to have the value data en_US (5 characters, case sensitive).
	Another solution: simply remove the translation files (or move them so they are not available to the fet executable) and start FET. It will report
		that the custom language is not found and it will revert to en_US.


Documentation:

	Some hints in the directory "fet-v.v.v/doc/".
	Some other hints in the program Help menu.
	You may find more documentation on the FET homepage.


Input files:

	You can open a few sample input files in "fet-v.v.v/examples/" directory
	(under GNU/Linux or Mac OS X, they may be found in /usr/share/doc/fet/, or /usr/share/fet/)


Uninstalling FET:

	Remove the directory fet-v.v.v. Also, you may want to remove the directory with the fet results (default: $HOME/fet-results).
	This will leave the settings of FET on your system. FET stores its settings in your operating system's dedicated section.
	If you really want to get rid of everything FET created, read below.

	To completely remove stored FET settings from your operating system:

	GNU/Linux, and maybe Mac OS X:
	Usually, in your $HOME/.config directory you will find a directory "fet" containing the file "fettimetabling.conf".
	Remove the directory and its contents.

	Windows:
	Run regedit.exe (Registry Editor), search for the key "fet". You will find a section "fet" with the subsection "fettimetabling".
	Remove the "fet" section and its contents.


Feed-back / help:

	You are encouraged to express your opinion about this program, to send your data files, for the purpose of testing or
	for inclusion into examples, and also to report possible bugs and suggestions. See the FET homepage for contact information.


Copyright (C) 2002-2012 Liviu Lalescu, Volker Dirr.
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