Some of the software that we use is the standard software on Babel. In other cases, either the program is not a standard piece of software or we need to ensure that you are using a particular version. The directory /pkg/ling/etc/httpd/htdocs/courses/ling538/bin contains software for this course. In some cases we have put the actual program in this directory. In other cases, a shell script in this directory makes sure that you get the version of the software that we want you to use.
Among other things, this directory contains the GNU versions of a number of programs. These are the same versions as are found on Linux systems, e.g. the ones in the Phonetics Lab and, not coincidentally, my own machines. The GNU versions are generally at least as good as any others and are more likely to be found on other machines than the proprietary Sun versions, so learning the GNU versions will be useful in the long run.
The course directory contains a shell script that replaces the system man command. If we have installed a special version of a program for this course, our version of the man command will provide you with the appropriate manual pages. Otherwise, it simply passes the command on to the system version of the man command.