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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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I decided that the best way to spend this Sunday morning was to try to get free_cite, a citation parsing system, running on my server. Turns out this is easier said than done; the README provides no information on which versions of different software you need and also gives no advice on setting up the ruby environment.

In any case, here's the best way to do it. Turns out that you run into a massive headache if you try to use default Debian/Ubuntu package managers to configure Ruby (really? this shouldn't be hard to get right... but hey).

If you think you don't need the below detailed instructions, here's the info you do need:

Ruby version: 1.8.7-p371
Rails version: 2.1

In any case, on Ubuntu 12.10, run:

sudo apt-get install curl
curl -L | bash -s stable --auto
rvm requirements
sudo apt-get install build-essential openssl libreadline6 libreadline6-dev \
curl git-core zlib1g zlib1g-dev libssl-dev libyaml-dev libsqlite3-dev sqlite3 \
libxml2-dev libxslt-dev autoconf libc6-dev ncurses-dev automake libtool bison  \
subversion pkg-config

rvm install 1.8.7-p371
rvm --default use 1.8.7-p371
gem install -v=2.1 rails

sudo apt-get install libpq-dev postgresql-client-9.1 postgresql-9.1
gem install pg

tar xvzf CRF++-0.47.tar.gz
cd CRF++-0.47
./configure && make && sudo make install
cd CRF++-0.47/ruby
ruby extconf.rb
sudo make install

You then need to configure your postgresql database. As this is covered elsewhere, I'll leave it. Suffice to say that the instructions on the free_cite page for setting up the permissions are correct.

Next, do:

git clone
cd free_cite/config
cp database.yml.example database.yml

and then fill in the database details in database.yml.


gem install crfpp
gem install rake --version 0.8.7

You then need to edit lib/crfparser.rb to change the case of CRFPP to crfpp on the 4th "require" line.


rake _0.8.7_ crfparser:train_model
rake _0.8.7_ db:migrate