Down-loading DISTRAT cause mapping software

Brief introduction

The real introduction to the software is in the user manual that comes with the software. It will tell you that you should probably read Lívia Markóczy and Jeff Goldberg's paper in the Journal of Management, Volume 21, number 2, pages (305 to 333) title "A method for eliciting and comparing causal maps" to find out if the software does anything remotely like what you would like it to do. Many people have been disappointed because that software doesn't apply to their task. I am starting a list of pointers to other cause mapping software.

The software performs the cause map analysis tasks described in that paper, and that analysis depends highly on how the maps are elicited. Feel free to download and install the software, but before your hopes are raised to high about what it can do for you, you should read the paper.

For questions or comments about the paper please get in touch with either of the authors: Lívia Markóczy or Jeff Goldberg, and for comments or questions about the software it is probably best to get in touch with Jeff Goldberg.

Legal stuff

This is for the distrat/askmap package of programs for analysis of causal maps. It is distributed freely and without warranty under the terms of the General Public License version 2 (or later)


All of these files except for the readme file should be transfered in binary mode. Your web browswer will take care of that for you. to be transfered in binary mode. If you are using ftp, make sure to specify the type as binary for all transfers involving compressed files.

Extracting the files from the archive files

For the .zip file

Use either unzip (InfoZip) or PKunzip to extract from the archive. If you use PKunzip then make sure to use the -d option for creating subdirectories.

Assuming that you will use the unzip provided and that everything is on a floppy in drive "a:" and that you wish to install things on "c:" drive, do the following:

  cd \
This will build a directory C:\distrat which in turn has three subdirectories. Go into the directory and read C:\distrat\doc\install.dos. Or see about printing the complete documentation below.

If you use unzip on something other than DOS, be sure to use the -a option so that the ASCII files are unziped in ASCII mode with newline properly translated.

For the .tgz (or .tar.gz) file

For the .tgz archive, you will need the generally available programs: gzip (or gunzip), and tar. Or a version of tar which incorporates gzip.

gzip is available by ftp from A free version of tar is also available from the same source. The versions of gzip and tar included here are covered by the GNU General Public License agreement and you have the right not only to the executables I have included above but to the sources.

tar also exists on every Unix machine, and on most other mutliuser systems. It is possible to gunzip and un-tar the files on such a machine and then transfer the files to their final destination if that destination does not have the suitable programs.

With a version of tar that knows about gzip files: use
tar -zxvf file.tar.gz
tar -zxvf file.tgz
to extract the files from the gzip'ed archive. Such a version of tar may be called gtar on some systems. On DOS tar will not be able to call gunzip from tar..

If your tar does not understand such things (such as tradition versions of tar or on DOS), you will need to first gunzip the files and then extract with tar. One way of doing this is
gunzip file.tar.gz or
gunzip file.tgz
which will leave you with a file called "file.tar".

If you have gzip but not gunzip, use "gzip -d" in place of "gunzip". They are the same thing. Then
tar -xvf file.tar

DOS executables for unzip.exe, gunzip.exe, and tar.exe should be near by this file in the archive. They are in /public/cc/cc047/tools/

Line feeds and carriage returns

Different systems deal with line feeds differently. On DOS a newline is a sequence of <CTRL-M><CTRL-J> on Unix it is just a <CTRL-J>. This .zip file is created with ASCII files having DOS newlines, and the .tgz file has Unix linefeeds. But, if you use the -a option to unzip on Unix, you will get the correct line feeds.

Please direct questions to Jeff Goldberg <>

The directories

(I use "/" as the directory separator below)

Contains documantation and a few sample files
contains everything needed to rebuild the executables
contains DOS AT (286) executables, which run just fine on 386s and above. This directory also contains the .aml files used by askmap
Contains 386 DOS executables and go32.exe (32bit memory extender, which must be placed in your PATH if you wish to use these versions). These 386 versions can make use of all free memory on your machine. If you wish to use these, copy of .aml files from the distrat/bin directory to the appropriate place.

Printing the real documentation

There is a largely complete rewrite of the documentation in a much more coherent form than in the individuals .txt files in the doc directory. The new documentation is in four forms:

The documentation is approximately 70 pages long.

Since I have received few requests for the software from North America, these documents are produced for A4 paper. North Americans can still print them out on letter paper, but the margins will be funny.

To print these out you need to determine three (and slightly more) things:

  1. What Operating system are you using (I will discuss only DOS and Unix below. If someone can provide information for Macs, I would be more than happy to include that here.
  2. What kind of printer you have. You will need either a printer Which understands PostScript (A printer language) or which understands PCL (another printer language), which is the language used by HP LaserJets and compatibles. If you have a choice between the two, use the PostScript printer. If you only have a postscript printer, then you can remove the .hp file, and if you only have access to a PCL printer you can remove the .ps file.
  3. The name of the printer. This may be something like "lpt2:".
DOS users may encounter other problems which I can only half anticipate, since there are too many ways things can be set up at your end.

Printing on DOS

Do NOT try to load either the .hp or .ps file into some sort of text processor or run them through a printer driver. They are already prepared to go straight to a printer without the intervention of any software. That is, the files are already in exactly the form that printers expect information to be in.

If you have a PCL printer on lpt1, then get to a DOS prompt and go into the distrat/doc directory, then issue the command
C:> copy/b drdoc.hp lpt1:
Note the "/b"; it is needed

If you have a PostScript printer (preferred) on, say, lpt2: then copy the PostScript file directly to the printer
C:> copy lpt2:
(Note that here is there is no "/b")

Special Problems with DOS

Depending on how your system is designed to talk to the printer, you may get an error message every few pages (depending on the size of the printer's memory). Keep hitting "retry" when prompted to. If this doesn't work, please ask someone local for help.

Printing on Unix

If you have a PostScript printer (or print queue) called "fred_ps", then just use:
% lpr -Pfred_ps

If you have a PCL printer (or queue) called "fred_laser",
% lpr -Pfred_laser
If you have problems printing these, take the files, and a printed out version of this "readme.txt" file to someone who knows your system for more help. If that person needs to contact me with more questions they should feel free. I may be able to help you remotely, but too much of how to print is specific to how your system is set up.


The executable version of unzip.exe, tar.exe, gzip.exe are covered by the GNU General Public License Agreement (see the file COPYING among the files extracted). You have the right to the source code for that program, which, unless I provide them to you, or ensure that they appear on the same archive as the executable files, I am in minor violation of the License Agreement. I will attempt to remedy this as soon as I can. The source code is available from other archives (namely via ftp from in the directory /pub/gnu).