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This is a minor item but I'm proud of it.  Part of my research support is to advance vision algorithms like my work on locally-linear structures, for example the trail finding algorithm that Scott Morris, Kobus Barnard and I have developed.  This algorithm is, we believe, widely applicable to stringy-looking things (in the absence of tip growth), and one domain we've looked to cross into is that of neuron phenotyping.  So the IVI lab has a bit of collaboration with the Restifo Lab in the Department of Neuroscience.  We've developed image-inference software for them before, and we still provide a bit of support.

Recently they've decided they would like to run their custom software themselves.  As I've said before, we research people often (unintentionally) make that somewhat difficult:  we run our own code, so we know just how it has to be configured and run.  In this case, the configuration was the snag:  they want to run on a Macintosh (I hear that's a popular brand nowadays).  Our code for them required Gnuplot, and specifically an older output option for Gnuplot.  Well, you can't get that option on a Macintosh.

You can't -- until now!  Although I had little experience developing software on a Mac, I found out about Macports, which is a framework for installing things like Gnuplot on Macintosh, and I learned enough to modify the Gnuplot port, stuff in the missing option and get it working.  Furthermore, I submitted a patch and ticket to Macports.org.  Six days ago my patch was incorporated into the trunk Portfile.  So, this little support request has the wider consequence of advancing (in a small way) the evolution of Macintosh open-source software.