Category Archives: Manila

Ruby 2.0.0 and Shoes Federales (3.2). And Gems

I’m feeling good. I managed to get Shoes gem Setup code working a couple of days ago. It was pretty broken. Now it uses the modern Gem API. Actually, I think that might be the last thing on the list from declaring that Shoes 3.2 is on feature parity with 3.1, 3.0 and less buggy.

It won’t install all the compilers and libraries need to build a gem from source – that would be a magical mystery enhancement. Now days, many gems have precompiled binaries for Windows. (I should test that on Windows).

Of interest to some Linux folk, I have compiled, tested and fixed some things with Shoes so that you can build with and use Ruby 2.0.0 (instead of the new old reliable 1.9.3). That took some serious head scratching because the Shoes built-in manual failed with Ruby 2.0.0. Not anymore. I’m happy to fix that now. One less thing to fix in the 3.3 release. Come to think of it. There might not be any bugs that keep me from releasing 3.2 or an RC1. Other than that testing thing.

Shoes 3.2a1 (Federales) for Windows. Proof of concept.


[Updated Jan 12, 2014 for Shoes3.2.a1]
Recognize it? It’s the Shoes simple-chipmunk sample. Wait! Is that running in Windows 7 with Cecil’s silly Federales icon instead of the regular Shoes icon? Yes it is. It’s also more much more than that.

I cross compiled that on Linux and created an installer (on Linux). I copied the shoes3.2.exe to Windows 7 and double clicked the installer, and I took the installer defaults because I know very little about Windows.  The Ruby inside is 1.9.3 . We never got policeman to use anything newer than 1.9.1 on Windows.  You can’t see it from the screen shot, but it is running on Gnome 3.6 libraries that are included with the installer.  [pause]  That’s right – it’s not using the problematic windows code in Shoes that no one was willing to maintain.  I didn’t update the Windows code, either.  Instead I used Gnome’s cross platform capabilities. The gnomes at did the hard work.

[Pause more while the implications bubble up]

Yes, any developer  with a properly set up Linux or OSX box could produce that Shoes for Windows installer and never have to use cmd.exe or MSYS or RubyInstaller to build any part of it.

Gnome claims to have a OSX Quartz (not X11) layer. [Pause]  So, in theory no one has to  learn Objective-C to maintain Red Shoes for OSX because the Gnomes did it. So the windows and cocoa code could be deleted from Shoes? That’s the theory and it just might work if an OSX developer or two try it.

Pretty heady stuff, eh?

[Reality Break]

It’s Gtk3 and I haven’t fixed the Shoes bugs with that. On the plus side, those known bugs fail the same way on Windows.  See my previous post. As I write this post, the Shoes3.2/Windows  complains (and dies) for lack of GSetting’s for dialogs. Like the splash screen “open an app” and simple-dialogs/color.  But the manual and console works and you can run the samples from the manual (and get the known errors). I’ll bet it hangs or croaks if you attempt to download something from the net.

I’m calling it Alpha-1 but it’s really just a proof of concept. You shouldn’t use it for developing Shoes scripts. It’s NO WHERE good enough to use.  Oh one more thing,  Clicking on packaging anything  just won’t work  – don’t bother downloading if you hope it will fix a current problem with Red Shoes.  It won’t fix anything.  Proof of Concept.  More known errors than Jesus had disciples.

But, some folks will  try it. Let me know if it installs and kind of works like I described. You could clone or fork the source but If I were you, I’d wait – because it’s not ready.


Shoes 3.2 Alpha 1

I’ve been busy upgrading Shoes 3 (aka Policeman)  to be a maintenance release that works better for Linux users. I have lofty goals and I also know reality can cut the knees out of lofty. Still, for those Linux users willing to take a few minutes, they might enjoy helping me test this release and sending a bug report to or to the Shoes Mailing list  .  I’m calling this release ‘Federales’ because its a Policeman maintenance release, but different enough that I want a new name.

Alpha release means that I know what doesn’t work. I need to tell you what doesn’t work: There is nothing new for Windows or OSX users. Sorry. . There are graphics/clipping bugs – minor until you try samples/simple-accordian.rb or samples/simple-menu.rb. I already know about them, so no need to report that. If you use Link and Linkhover as a variation of ‘para’, they won’t work until you change them to Shoes::Link and Shoes::Linkhover. Some constants like PI have to be Shoes::PI.  Sorry.  I plan to fix the Gtk bugs. Link and Linkhover. Probably not anytime soon.

Enough with the Negative Nancy downers dude, what does Federales (a1) do for Linux users?

  1. It uses Gtk+-3.0 which is kind of like ah, modern. Less apt-gets and yums to get it working. None, I hope.
  2. Very good  chance the binary releases will work for your Linux. Your feedback is requested.
  3. You can use  gems that Shoes doesn’t  include.  It’s  not obvious yet because I’m too busy to write the release notes on how to do that,  but see the cache.rb file and then ‘touch getoutofjail.card’ in the proper directory. That directory is likely to change soon.
  4. Did I mention there is a Raspberry pi binary download?  And it works. (for me). Please report your experience with it.

Installing Shoes Federales-a1 is simple. Download from the links below and save it wherever your browser will let you in your home directory. Open a terminal and cd there.  Then do ‘tar zxf <the-downloaded-file>. It should create a directory starting with ‘shoes3.2a1′ plus your choice of architecture. For example, on my suse VM, Firefox just puts it in Downloads without my options. OK.

ccoupe@linux-n295:~> cd Downloads/
ccoupe@linux-n295:~/Downloads> ls
ccoupe@linux-n295:~/Downloads> tar -zxf shoes3.2a1-x86_64-linux.tar.gz
ccoupe@linux-n295:~/Downloads> ./shoes3.2a1-x86_64-linux/shoes ./shoes3.2a1-x86_64-linux/samples/simple-chipmunk.rb

If I were you, I’d move/rename the directory to be something less awful. Shoes doesn’t care. I happen to like the chipmunk demo, If you don’t specify a file name to load, you’ll get the normal Shoes splash screen animation. Try it. Try some of the other samples. (some will fail). Delete it when you’ve seem enough.

So, where do I get this Shoes 3.2 Federales Alpha 1 Release for my Linux so that I can tell you what I really think?

Please leave a comment here, send an email to the -Shoes Mailing list or email me directly.


Hi all

I’m going to use this account to move some stuff around and maybe make it easier for you and the Great Google Machine to find things.

If you got here from, rest assured anything of value from that silly site will be here. Eventually.

We’ve all moved on from running Manila websites although those postings are still here. My main blog is We’re Hosed . Fron ranting to tech solutions, observations to speculation and personal stuff.

I’ve also got a old Cooking Cheap blog. It doesn’t get a lot of updates but I like have some of the Cookin’ Cheap vidoes available to the world and I occationally check some of recipes and experiments. Still, there’s not much new there and quite frankly you can find better cooking blogs.

So what will appear here? Pictures of computer memorabilia. My memoriabilia. I’ve got a closet or two full of old computer magazine, books, tools and odd schtuff and I’m going to sell them (ebay willing) or I’ll trash them. But first, I’ll scan the covers and the table of contents page along with various half baked photos of items.

Obviously, I hope to build excitement (oooh!) for anything that goes onto the auction block. And some of it is just documenting what the smart folks said and did, and what didn’t. Causual nostalgia buff’s can read RCA 1802 or KIM-1 and move on to the next picture down memory lane. Some afficiandos may want to own these artifacts. Please send an email or comment on the posting if you would like one or more items to appear at auction,

The picture gallery will be built up over days and weeks and months and future blog posts will follow a time line.

New version of SplitWXR is available

Please read all the updates to this post.

I’ve fixed a bug that some kind folks reported. There’s a new versions (0.2) in the /public directory.

The bug didn’t put the output files in the proper directory. Where they went depends on your platform. A search for ‘wxr’ would find them (search hidden folders on Windows). It’s fixed now and for good measure it’ll show you where it does write them.

[UPDATE Nov, 19, 2009]

SplitWXR may not work anymore with out some hand holding. SplitWXR depends on Shoes which will download the Ruby interpreter. The Shoes site has gone “walk about” and might not be available so the whole chain of things fails. There is a solution. Download Shoes from an alternate site and install it. Then double click on the SplitWXR icon and it will find the Shoes (and Ruby) on your system and has been reported to work.

[Update: July 24, 2010]
I may not be able to make SplitWXR work with future versions of Ruby and Shoes and Older wordpress export files. It’s a messy stew of incompatibility that I’ll not bore you with here. Fortunately, if you upgrade your source WordPress to 3.0+, then there are export options that allow you to make smaller exports (by date or category or author or all of them) Granted, it’s clunkly but you can can make export files that are small enough to be imported to your new server. It would be infinitely easier to ask your new webserver host admin to up their download file size limit.

Upgrading your old WordPress blog to 3.0 would be a pain for some folks with highly customized and non conforming themes. It’s not in my power to solve that problem.

In other words, don’t expect SplitWXR to work for much longer. It’s not really needed anymore and your collective pain to use the WP 3.0 tools is less than mine. Yes, really! I might get around to fixing SplitWXR for the next version of Shoes (and Ruby 1.9.1) when I get bored. Don’t depend on me.

Split WXR (with GUI and installers)

A reader running Windows wanted to run my splitWXR script. It took a few hours of email but we got it working as a Shoe’s gui script. Sweet! I then decided to finish some GUI debugging and use some newer Shoes functions so it’s easy to install and run. It’s available in three easily installable versions for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. If you don’t have the Shoes framework, the downloaded app will do the download and install of Shoes. Then it starts my little script. That’s about as easy as it gets. Let me know if it doesn’t for you.

Next time, It’ll be faster.

I’ve discovered a problem with the 2.7 MvManila scripts when dealing with some Manila servers and the use of international (accented) characters in the title.  There a hack I can email you if you want it.  Of course I  fixed it in 3.0 along with other internatational bugs and of course it wouldn’t Manla without some suprises . A patient client needed some 3.0 features and after I coded away, 3.0 is really nice for me.  Maybe the next conversion will go so easily that I’ll make a profit. Who am I kidding? Profit is a pipe dream.  It’s always going to be labor intensive.

Here’s a couple of things that I had to deal with:

International characters in the title. Both CP-1252 and ISO-8859-1. We agreed not to bother trying to fix CP-1252.  We spent a lot of time getting this correct because as it turns out, he had some relative urls and 2.7 will not handle those but 3.0 will. And he liked the idea that 3.0 will rewrite permalinks in the style he wanted. We had some more internationalization problems, again with the title/subject getting to work like wordpress expects.

His Manila gave me a siteStructure that broke my parser and I horsed around a lot trying to get all the posts into the correct category. There were some Manila XML bugs to work around but eventually we got it looking correct and the stuff that didn’t categorize cleanly, gets WordPress tags so they can be found. A nice feature, actually.

That’s what happens in a conversion from Manila to WordPress. It’s why I charge, I know where the demons lurk.

Errors! Gasp! Feedback!

It turns out that the 2.7 documentation has some “oversights”. Other people would call them errors but this a marketing pitch so I don’t say ‘dumb ass errors’. A courageous Manila site owner has been attempting to run the 2.7 MvManila scripts in OS X and he asked for some help. Of course, I’ll help. That’s almost as much fun as getting paid. Seriously.

Issue #1. It might not be clear in the documentation that RubyGems has to be installed. It’s not the easiest thing to install because you have to google the correct set of instructions for your particular OS & version. I’m not picking on OS X. It was a minor challenge for me to get Gems installed in Ubuntu Linux. Too many ways to do it, some of them wrong. It’s a challenge.

Issue #2. Fixurl.tcl will probably croak with an error message like (but not identical)

can't read "msgmap(13)": no such element in array
    while executing
"set newnum $msgmap($msgnum)"
    ("while" body line 6)
    invoked from within
"while {[gets $sf line]>0} {
        set msgnum [lindex $line 0]
        set path [lindex $line 2]
        #puts stderr "$msgnum $path"
        if {$path != "stories"} {
    (file "./fixurl.tcl" line 245)

I’ve seen this problem. The cure is to edit the ‘structure’ file and remove the line with “nnn {About} about” where nnn is a different number for everyone. Then rerun fixurl.tcl.

You might ask ‘why don’t you fix the code and documentation’ instead of posting a blog entry? Do you want the long version or the short version?

Short Version:
It’s easier to delete that ‘about’ line in the structures file than to fix the scripts and documentation.

Long Version:
I don’t run the 2.7 scripts because I have 3.0 versions and you don’t. Actually, it’s real a bitch to test modifications to the 2.7 scripts without a live working Manila site to test against. There are fewer and fewer Manila sites wanting conversion. Only a fewer of the few will grant me access to test. That’s just how it is, the pool is drying up. It’s not worth the effort to make a 2.7.1. A business decision.