Support & Advice
Mesquite is under construction
Mesquite is in beta-test form, meaning that we're seeking user
feedback to learn what areas need the most work. We expect there
may be quite a few bugs reported initially. Some bugs you may
encounter will be bugs not in Mesquite but in the operating system
or Java virtual machine (for example, see this list).
Mesquite calculations aren't quite ready for publishable results,
though some are very close. The beta-testing will help us determine
how close they are, but we hope to indicate what calculations
are ready over the next two or three months. In the meantime please
feel free to explore the system, and use it in teaching.
If you do wish to use results from Mesquite in publications,
please be in contact with us, and we can determine if those features
you wish to use are stable and bug-free enough.
Why doesn't Mesquite do <insert your favorite
Mesquite is extensible. What it can do now is a small part of
what we envisage. We welcome suggestions but we're aware of many
things that could be added. The biggest needs we feel at the moment
are for likelihood calculations and more tools for examining character
Of course, if you really want a new feature sooner than we can
add it, you are welcome to write your own module to implement
Things to think about before getting annoyed
Mesquite is a large project, about 1500 pages of source code
when printed single spaced at 7 point font (about 120,000 or more
lines of source; over 5MB of ASCII text). We don't have a big
team of people working on it; it was initially written by a single
person, and now two. We apologize for the bugs that remain, and
look forward to your polite bug reports and efforts to aid us
make Mesquite useful.
Mesquite is free. We don't have a separate support staff to answer
questions, fix bugs, and so on.
Mesquite is intended to become a community effort. Source code
is posted on the Mesquite
web site; we hope other programmers will help us improve the
We recognize that Mesquite is a complex system that offers many
choices to the user. We plan to build macros and other tools to
help build paradigmatic analyses for users who don't want to sort
their way through options every time. However, they're only beginning
to be built.
Check out the Help system first
Mesquite doesn't have conventional documentation, but it does
have various features to help you learn how to use it. Check out
the help page for instructions.
Reporting bugs and requesting
Partly to foster a community of users, and partly for efficiency,
we are encouraging users to sign up to a LISTSERV via which they
can report bugs and post queries about using Mesquite. Please
report bugs and ask for Mesquite advice via this LISTSERV. To
sign up for the listserv, send an email with the following message
in the body of the email:
where you replace "YourFirstName" by your first name,
and "YourSecondName" by your second name. Once you've
signed up, you can send a message to the list.
If you're reporting a bug, it's important that you are able to
specify, as precisely as possible, exactly what you did that generated
the bug. Try to find a precisely repeatable series of actions
that generate the bug. In any bug report, please specify the version
of Mesquite and any important modules and your operating system.
Be prepared to send us your data file so we can test the problem.
(Of course, we recognize that some messages may be more appropriately
directed directly to us. You may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Below are problems in Java on various operating systems that
affect Mesquite. If these problems annoy you, please write to
your local politician or to the people responsible for the Java