Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

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OpenXTalkPaul
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Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

Post by OpenXTalkPaul »

So this morning, after much learning-up on Linux Desktop specifications (https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/) and other related topics, I was able to build an AppImage from the copy of OXT I had on my Ubuntu Studio desktop.
This OpenXTAlk.AppImage appears to work as intended. I'm not entirely sure exactly how portable it is, but it does include chunks-o-Linux like GTK and such other libs (I will probably add some more includes, such as eSpeak voices for Linux TTS).
It could probably be trimmed down some too, some very common dependencies sym-linked to their standard locations. Currently the AppImage is 1.1GB (ignore the 1.4GB size in the screenshot, that was a different build), that's with a few small-ish extras thrown in, like the FluidSynth Builder Extension with a small default musical soundbank .sf2 file. I used basic zip compression on it to see if would shrink it any (an AppImage already is compressed, Squah fs) but it only shrank to about 100mb smaller, 7zip, different settings or something else might be able to shrink it better.
AppImageSuccess.png
AppImageSuccess.png (245.05 KiB) Viewed 737 times
From quick tests it appears to work OK, even when I move the AppImage to another drive/directory, the message-box works, SVG icons rendered, my FluidSynth lib is producing sound. Dictionary tries to launch into the systems web browser but doesn't (have to look at that soon, because the browser widget does work on Linux 64bit), I downloaded some community stacks though revOnline stack, etc.

So this is a real good starting point for making a super-easy to use, highly distro-agnostic OXT build for Linux.
Have to do some testing copying it to other Linux/*Nux (helloSystem/FreeBSD?)
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richmond62
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Re: Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

Post by richmond62 »

Congratulations!

That is amazing work.
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OpenXTalkPaul
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Re: Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

Post by OpenXTalkPaul »

richmond62 wrote: Sun Mar 27, 2022 10:03 am Congratulations!

That is amazing work.
Thanks! I'm fairly happy with the first results. I've now tried it on several different live USB and installed Linux I had already set up (Ubuntu Studio Installer Live Boot, Xubuntu both Boot Image and Installed) and they all worked as expected, depending on the distro the AppImage file immediately displayed as the OXT icon. The dictionary launches in external browser still, but that works fine, no message box weirdness, SVG icons displaying properly, the important stuff seems to work fine. It does bring up the LC account registration on first run, but that could be fixed with a simple shell script that creates the dummy 'license' file (which is really the only reason to make an "installer" app, and will go away when the Engine is rebuilt without that stack emedded)

It did NOT run on the FreeBSD based helloSystem even though I did install the LinuxRuntime (Compatibility layer uses Debian.img instead of CentOS bits), but I think there's more setup that needs to be done to the app to make it work on this OS.

There's another macOS-like FreeBSD distro called airyxOS that I just found out about that I'll likely try tonight.
It's striving for even more than helloSystem, they actually have some macOS binary compatibility going on (basic UI apps even)!
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richmond62
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Re: Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

Post by richmond62 »

Any chance you can PM me the AppImage so I can give it a whirl
on my Xubuntu boxes?
tperry2x
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Re: Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

Post by tperry2x »

Me too please :)
Can't wait to try this out. I can test in Devuan, Xubuntu, and Ubuntu
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OpenXTalkPaul
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Re: Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

Post by OpenXTalkPaul »

Yes, I could upload it to MEGA or a GoogleDrive so you guys can give it a spin (it would be a 1.1GB DL). I just wanted to do some testing, maybe a few cleanups, finish up a few things before doing even a sort of Beta package, but I guess we could call it a "Developer Preview". I more or less just wanted to see if it would work out well as a portable packaging format for OXT, but I am pleased with how easy it is to get it "installed" on Linux now ( there is no install, you just make it executable and double click it, very much like a Mac .app bundle!)

So for one thing, as a result of testing this same appimage on different distros, I've discovered that the problem with the message-box being unusable in certain situations on Linux is actually related to the Tools palette, and likely some sort of conflict between XFCE (in Xubuntu 20.x.x) and the way that the Engine does it's "palette stack" to the window. I believe the issue is actually caused by the Tools palette's behavior script, which gets attached to it at IDE startup, and may be related to "tool tip" mouse-hover checking. I do know a workaround (make it a don't use "palette stack" make it top-level), which I've tested and it does make that issue disappear and doesn't seem to affect anything else. I know how to programmatically get the Desktop Environment's name on Linux so the fix could be applied conditionally based on that sort of info so as to not affect any other distros that don't have this issue (I didn't have any of this particular problem with Ubuntu Studio and KDE Plasma DE, this incompatibility bug might only be specific to XFCE DE).
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Re: Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

Post by tergolap »

Congratulations! That's great news.

Why not upload it to AppImagHub? Is there still a license issue?
Cheers,

T.

I'm not a native speaker, but I try my best.
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OpenXTalkPaul
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Re: Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

Post by OpenXTalkPaul »

tergolap wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 6:35 pm Congratulations! That's great news.

Why not upload it to AppImagHub? Is there still a license issue?
I'm not aware of any licensing issues that would prevent it from being distributed via appimagehub of any other repo of AppImages, or any other packaging format that I'm aware of. For some a five or so years now there's been a LCC Server Docker container available on Docker sites, which is a containerizing format that is somwhat similar to .AppImage package.

And as far as debranding, I've made only good-faith efforts to both make a clear distinction of this project from any commercially available product, so as to not confuse anyone's customers, while also retaining the appropriate copyright notices and info on the origins of the base on which OpenXTalk DPE is currently being built on top of. So if I missed something critical or something is wholly unacceptable to some party, then they would have to notify me / us so that it can be fixed in a REASONABLY timely manner (emphasis for a very particular reason, but not directed at you guys).

The only licensing issues might come from the older versions of OpenSSL (on Windows only?), there is an exception made in the GPLv3 license for LiveCode Community Edition for OpenSSL. In the newest versions of OpenSSL the license is the more liberal Apache license. I believe that would only be an issue for something puritan, that strictly requires FOSS / GPL only.
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Re: Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

Post by OpenXTalkPaul »

This has me thinking a lot about trying to build some other xTalk distributions in a similar way, like package a Web/JS based 'engine' (there's actually a few of these available in open source) packaged up with something like Electron app maker tools (which as I hear can directly build AppImages).

In particular I'd like to try packaging the JAVA based OpenXION Interpreter for running on FreeBSD (helloSystem/airyxOS). I've been playing around with OpenXION a bunch, using 'Open Process' from within OXT in an "OpenXION Console" stack that I've built.

I think it could be very cool to have an OS with a very capable xTalk (which OpenXION is), integrated or otherwise available as a system-wide scripting/automation tool, a sort of "what-if" scenario: "What if 'AppleScript' had been built by Dan Winkler?"
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Re: Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

Post by overclockedmind »

I would definitely love to have this AppImage as well. Linux Mint MATE 20.3 Una here, though I could throw it at other things as well, I have a spare computer or two here.
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OpenXTalkPaul
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Re: Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

Post by OpenXTalkPaul »

overclockedmind wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 5:11 am I would definitely love to have this AppImage as well. Linux Mint MATE 20.3 Una here, though I could throw it at other things as well, I have a spare computer or two here.
I hope to have another build ready for others to test in the next few weeks.

I saw a tiny little Intel Atom board running OpenStep 4.2 natively inside a miniature NeXT Cube styled case...with stuff like these tiny X86 instruction-set single-board computers showing up, we will likely always have something available that can run our OXT apps, and it'll be able to fit into your pocket eventually, if they haven't gotten there already.
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richmond62
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Re: Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

Post by richmond62 »

Ready to test as soon as you can lob it in my direction.

Would really love a 32-bit version were that possible.

I do feel that pictures of a row of PCs running OXT with kids doing stuff with it
would make fantastic publicity for OpenXTalk.

Quite apart from the fact that I would make the materials from my teaching courses
freely available for use with OXT.

The only possible downside at the moment is that as 90% of them run Windows on their
machines at home they will have to do Homework with LiveCode 9.6.3.
tperry2x
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Re: Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

Post by tperry2x »

OpenXTalkPaul wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 9:30 pm I hope to have another build ready for others to test in the next few weeks.
:D Amazing. Brilliant work
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Re: Portable Linux OXT distribution AppImage packaging

Post by tperry2x »

richmond62 wrote: Tue May 17, 2022 8:52 am I do feel that pictures of a row of PCs running OXT with kids doing stuff with it
would make fantastic publicity for OpenXTalk.
I work in a school, but the IT is centrally managed unfortunately.
I wish I did have the power to suggest that kids learn OXT, however I'm not a teacher - I'm sure there are certainly enough to fill a couple of classrooms (60+) who would be interested.
The only possible downside at the moment is that as 90% of them run Windows on their
machines at home they will have to do Homework with LiveCode 9.6.3.
That is a huge downside, that 90% of people run Windows, just because that's what their computer came with.
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