Installing GLOSS

1 Downloading GLOSS

GLOSS is available from this site either as a tar.gz (gzipped tarball) file or as a zip file or as an MS-Windows Installer (msi) file. The latest stable version will be indicated as "gloss-stable" and the latest unstable version will be indicated as "gloss-latest". Older versions may also be available from the download site. These are really for historical interest.

You only have to download one of the files there, in either tar.gz, zip or msi format. Of the three options, the tarball or the zipfile is possibly the most up-to-date. This page provides generic instructions for installing GLOSS using the tarball or the zip file. A separate page covers MS-windows in more detail.

Download the zip or tarball and follow the instructions below. GLOSS is currently at "beta" stage, which means some features may change, so do contact me if you have found bugs or have a request for a feature.

Please note that all of GLOSS (including the documentation and these web pages) comes with no warranty and is licensed for use under the GNU Public Licence. Additionally, I have chosen to package the whole of GLOSS, including pre-built binary files and source files in a single package, as I believe some of the source files are of real interest to (advanced) users. So you get everything, source code and executable code, and you are free to change anything you like, but any derived works you produce must be distributed using a similar compatible licence. See

2 Installing GLOSS

GLOSS is a java application together with a number of XML files (MVs, DTDs, documentation, etc) and text files bundled with it. The distribution (a tarball or ZIP file) contains everything including source, compiled class files, and other files. There is nothing to compile. The whole distribution (source, classes and documentation) is licensed under the GNU General Public Licence.

As everything is provided with ready-compiled class files, installation just involves unpacking the distribution file and setting links or environment variables correctly.

For people needing a step-by-step approach tailored to MS-Windows, I have written a separate set of instructions.

The only issential pre-requisite is Java. You will need a recent Java runtime (Java 1.5 or better). You may also like to have a few other tools installed. These include a browser capable of displaying MathML, such as Firefox with the MathML fonts or Internet Explorer with the MathPlayer plugin. You may like to use ant available at for your build processes, and (propbably most importantly) you will need a suitable text editor. I recommend jEdit, since jEdit has plugins for xslt and ant (meaning that separate installations for these may not be necessary) and because we are developing a GLOSS plugin for jEdit to make your work even easier.

If you are planning to convert your files to LaTeX, you will need some flavour of LaTeX too (of course!), as well as the ucs package for LaTeX. This package is usually provided or available with your LaTeX installation. (It is called "unicode" in MiKTeX.)

  1. Move the tarball or other distribution file to a suitable place and unpack it. This should make a new subdirectory called gloss-X.X. On Unix, I suggest putting this in one of /usr/local/share/, /usr/local/lib/, /usr/share/, /usr/lib/ if you have super-user rights, or in your HOME directory (probably /home/<yourname>/) otherwise. I'll call the new subdirectory ".../gloss-X.X" just created <glossdirectory>. In MS-Windows, you would put this directory into your Program Files folder.
  2. In Unix, it is a good idea to create a symlink to the new directory to help gloss find out where it is installed and to make the job of installing new versions easier. Go to the parent directory and use the ln command. For example, "cd /usr/local/share" followed by "ln -s gloss-X.X gloss". Alternatively, if you installed to your home directory and you want to hide it, just rename it to .gloss with "mv gloss-X.X .gloss".
  3. If you are using Unix and installed to some directory other than the suggested ones, or you are manually installing to some other OS such as MS-Windows, or you just want to be safe, create an environment variable called GLOSS and give it the location of the GLOSS directory with export GLOSS=/path/tothe/directory/containing/gloss or whatever you use in your flavour of Unix. Setting this environment variable can't do any harm, so if in doubt just do it. Note that it is sensible to store the value of the symlink not the directory itself. Note too that this line can go in your .bashrc or some other system script to avoid it having to be typed in every time.
  4. The executable scripts are at <glossdirectory>/bin, and both Unix and MS-Windows scripts are provided. You may want to copy these to some location in your path or set PATH to include it in the search. You may also want to look at, and possibly change these scripts (they are rather simple).
  5. You do not need to alter your CLASSPATH as this is set in the standard scripts, but should you need to know, the java classes are at <glossdirectory>/java/classes and are also included in <glossdirectory>/java/gloss.jar.

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