Getting started with writing for NS 3.3

Started by Shiunbird, July 26, 2023, 02:34:01 AM

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Hello everyone,

A couple of months ago, I got a lovely HP 712/60 and got it up and running with NS 3.3 + Dev Tools, and thought I'd join your party.

I'm working on a project to make easier to daily drive my legacy workstations. It's a brutally simple API that allows GUI applications to send remote commands to be run by another process via sockets, serial or TCP/IP and I test it using a pcengines board connected via serial.

I am still a very bad programmer (sysadmin whole life), so things move quite slowly. My first project using my new API is an Image Catalog application. Having been frustrated by Apple stopping Aperture and having lost 2 years of original files because of messy storage management, I got everything up in a NFS share and need a front end.

So you get the backend component, the simplest C I can get out of myself, that indexes the folders, manages tagging and rating of images (data goes to text files) and calls imagemagick for thumbnail creation. The front end component is coming to life in MOTIF (thumbnails are power-of-2-sized textures, rendering via OpenGL) and now I am working on a nextstep version. Then the front end loads the thumbnails directly based on the references in the text files (one per folder). The backend component is also fully functional on its own, you can do stuff like ./imagecatalog whatever.jpg --rating=5 --tags=travel,Bahamas

BTW - I was impressed by how easy it was to build a GUI connecting to C code. Took me 30 minutes and the included examples to get going. The system is incredibly responsive, too.

I write using Softbench in HP-UX (I must like to suffer, but it's fun) but I actually compile it using my SGI Octane, as I find the error messages the most helpful, and I always make sure it runs fine in HP-UX, IRIX, PPC OS X (all using native toolchain, not GNU) and Linux BE and LE.

The client component of my API (for dispatching commands) builds fine everywhere, but the backend fails in NS because of missing snprintf.

Digging down the hole, I bumped into and I've been able to follow the instructions up to step 5.
On step 6, to build m4, I get stuck. If I try to use next's make, it complains I don't have autoheaders. If I try to use GNU's make, it complains I don't have autoconf. I tried to build autoconf, but it complains I don't have m4..........

So I thought I'd stop hitting walls and ask the experts. Am I tackling this the right way? I saw here another thread with an implementation of snprintf. Should I really worry so much about getting the GNU toolchain? (openssl, ssh and bash would be nice, though).

Thank you! I look forward to have the sample project and its code in an ok level to share with the community soon.

Rob Blessin Black Hole

Rob Blessin President computerpowwow ebay  [email protected]
303-741-9998 Serving the NeXT Community  since 2/9/93


Hi Shiunbird,

The reference that Rob pointed to is a great one. Also, check out the compiled packages that forum user @kb7sqi put together. He has many updated packages compiled quad-fat. Looking through his archive on my local drive I see that he has M4 v1.4.3 compiled for HPPA as well as GNUMake v3.8.1 compiled quad-fat. Hopefully that will help you get things up and running. I know there are other compiled package repositories too, so maybe someone can chime in with additional links.


Thank you so much!

I'm sorry for the late response. Real job got on the way and I am slowly trying to figure out how to get some time for my hobbies and still get the bills paid.

(plus way too much time trying and failing to extract a C char array from a text field! haha)

I will look into your suggestions and take some time to browse the whole forum for what I need to get up to speed.