Converting a POWER Mac HyperCard app to SuSE Linux

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Kay Tate
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Converting a POWER Mac HyperCard app to SuSE Linux

Post by Kay Tate » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:21 pm

In a new job, I am moving from a POWER Mac with really long-standing HyperCard stacks to a new Intel Linux system where I was looking at running the stacks under Revolution on Linux. My plan is to try the conversion on Mac OS X with Studio under the 30-day trial, then to move the executable to Linux to run it with Media to ensure that it works. If I am successful, I would prefer to invest in development on the Linux system in the future, but going from POWER to Intel when I am going from HyperCard to Revolution seems a bit risky.

Does this sound sensible? Is there something I am missing? Are there known issues or special things to be done going from POWER to Intel?

Thanks.
-Kay T.

Mark
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Post by Mark » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:31 pm

Hi Kay,

The transition from HyperCard to Revolution is big enough to completely supersede the difficulties that may be caused by the transition from PowerMac to Intel. Just concentrate on converting your HyperCard stack to Revolution.

In this forum and on the Revolution mail list, the subject has been discussed quite a few times. You can do a search and read whatever you can find about it and come back here with more (specific) questions.

The obvious/well-known stuff:
- make sure to comment out any menu related scripts because you will be overwhelmed with error messages if you don't
- keep in mind that Revolution creates and additional group with icons and if you move a button with HyperCard icon to another stack you might want to copy that group as well
- stacks that are converted have their hcAddressing property set to true, which means that groups in a converted HyperCard stack behave differently from groups in regular Revolution stacks (read about it in the docs)
- externals won't be converted and you will need to re-write most of these externals in plain Transcript
- when converting the stack, you will want to comment out any script that use externals
- if you can't open your stack because running scripts hijack the IDE when you open the stack, you can suppress messages in the Development menu

Best regards,

Mark
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Post by mwieder » Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:28 am

Agreeing with what Mark said here, my experience has been that the problems with moving from Mac to linux are with things that rev has but HC didn't (multimedia etc), so I also think if you can do the HC-to-rev conversion part the rest will be a breeze.

Note also that you can change to look-and-feel of the rev stack while you're working on it on the Mac so that it emulates the appearance of the linux version.

And that you'll probably have to rethink the way backgrounds work in HC if you want to make sense of the way rev messages work. This was actually one of the biggest hurdles for me back when I was making the jump. It might have been easier if I hadn't had a HyperCard background in the first place.

...and note also that the rule of thumb is to compact the HyperCard stack three times before attempting the conversion to rev to make sure the conversion will run smoothly.

Kay Tate
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:41 am

Post by Kay Tate » Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:54 pm

mwieder wrote:Agreeing with what Mark said here, my experience has been that the problems with moving from Mac to linux are with things that rev has but HC didn't (multimedia etc), so I also think if you can do the HC-to-rev conversion part the rest will be a breeze.

Note also that you can change to look-and-feel of the rev stack while you're working on it on the Mac so that it emulates the appearance of the linux version.
Thanks. I have been successful. :-)) I now have a new "Kay's Home" stack with my core 7 stacks attached to it as sub-stacks. I did use your suggestion to create a UNIX-like appearance on the Mac with menus on the cards. In fact, I worked on the HC stacks first so that the Mac legacy and the Rev stacks have a similar appearance and function. Some of the equivalent Rev icons were a bit, shall we say, snazzier than my HC ones... but things do seem to be working except for one script that does date calculations that I am still working on. I saw the different date base and just haven't finished tweaking it.

I went looking for the Linux runtime to test it, but didn't find it, just a "coming" note. Does anyone have an idea when or where it might be available? I assume I will have to try a Studio download in the interim on my Linux system. I just tried the stand alone app packaging of my stacks, but is looked like I needed a launcher for the sub-stacks as none of their buttons worked on Linux.

All said, once I got into the pattern of how to move my stacks in and attach them to a new app, things went fine. I'm not pushing many envelopes.
-Kay T.

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Post by mwieder » Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:26 pm

That's a bit disturbing. You should be able to build a linux version on osx and just have it run. Substacks and all. You shouldn't need a separate "runner" application.

The substacks are included in the standalone, righ? Not separate stack files? If they're separate, you might check the file permissions. That's all I can think of at the moment.

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Post by Mark » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:10 pm

Hi mwieder,

Kay has Media, which is unavailable for Linux.

Best,

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Kay Tate
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Post by Kay Tate » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:23 pm

Thanks, folks.

I do have separate files for the substacks, so I will check the permissions at my next chance. I'm sure my uid is different on the systems, so I am crossing my fingers.

Mark, I actually downloaded Studio for the trial period. I didn't think Media could make all of the changes I thought I needed. Getting Studio for Linux instead may be my backup plan if the stacks run successfully over there.

Kay Tate
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Post by Kay Tate » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:37 pm

Kay Tate wrote: I do have separate files for the substacks, so I will check the permissions at my next chance. I'm sure my uid is different on the systems, so I am crossing my fingers.
Update. I was tranferring the files on a FAT32 file system on a memory stick, so when it was mounted on Linux it came up with my owning everything on the stick and permissions of 700. I moved all of the files to my hard drive on the Linux system (Ubuntu 7.0.10 base with some updates), and it still fails.

In looking at the strace, it looks like the Linux runtime does not even try to find the substack files. When I click on the buttons to open them, the button highlights, but nothing happens.

On the original Mac where I have been developing, I packaged the standalone into a separate directory from the base where the other files are. Thinking maybe there was a problem not having that in the environment, I also included the directory where the base files/stacks are onto the memory stick. Then I copied that onto the Linux box. That didn't help either.

Any other ideas?

Kay Tate
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:41 am

Post by Kay Tate » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:35 pm

Kay Tate wrote:
Kay Tate wrote:
In looking at the strace, it looks like the Linux runtime does not even try to find the substack files. When I click on the buttons to open them, the button highlights, but nothing happens.

Any other ideas?
I was able to fix somethings in the packaging, but now I find that it does not try to open the correct file on Linux or on Mac OS X on Intel. I reposted this question on the Conversion forum 2/1/09 if you are following it. It doesn't seem to be a Linux problem

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