“Only death is for free and it costs life.” Since LEDA is neither the death nor dead (and, on the contrary, is permanently developed further and used to write lively programs which are almost as fast as the light), the first of a long number of conclusions in this tutorial is that LEDA is not for free.
Before this conclusion was drawn by the responsible persons for LEDA, there was a version without runtime limit for free download. These times are over, but still the algorithmic hobbyist can download a simple evaluation version, whose runtime is restricted to two months. And the acquisition of a complete version does not cost life either.
At the present time, LEDA can be purchased exclusively from Algorithmic Solutions Software GmbH. A summary of the commercial and academic licenses, current price lists, and an ordering form can be found on the LEDA home page.
LEDA runs on many different platforms and makes some demands on the underlying system. It can be purchased in different packetizations, from the basic package, which contains the base data types, up to the complete package with a great wealth in data types and algorithms. Even the source code can be licensed and used on request. Information about this can also be retrieved on the home page.
For Unix™ based systems LEDA is delivered as an archive file which must be unzipped. For MS-Windows™ based systems it is delivered as a self-unpacking, executable file and installs itself via an installer program. In every case detailed installation instructions can be found after unpacking in the file Readme.txt and in the files in the subdirectory Install. Although the installation procedure is pretty easy, we will not delve into it here for different reasons; we will rather assume that we have already installed an operational version. On the one hand, it would be a waste of space to repeat these installation instructions here, which are quite extensive because of the variety of the supported systems. On the other hand, as it is well known, such information goes out of date quite fast.
If nonetheless difficulties should occur when installing LEDA, an e-mail to <email@example.com> will bring fast and competent help. Error messages should be sent to the same address.
The normative reference for LEDA is the online user manual. A local copy of it can be found after the standard installation procedure below the LEDA root directory in the subdirectory manual/HTML. PostScript and PDF versions of the manual may be obtained from Algorithmic Solutions free of charge.
The manual is completed by the LEDA guide. This document contains additional information and program examples elucidating LEDA's data types and algorithms. It helps the developer to choose the most appropriate data type for a certain task and can thus shorten the development time and increase the efficiency and reliability of the application.
The members of the LEDA discussion forum are always willing to help with words and deeds with regard to questions and problems concerning LEDA. In regular time intervals the LEDA news list informs about all important news regarding the product LEDA.