Friday, May 04, 2007

My failed attempt at "instant ruby enlightenment"

I like Microsoft API documentation. Or at least I liked the .NET 1.1 stuff I was using in C# several years ago so much that even if I was working with Mono I would have VM (or VNC) open with the help viewer. It was definitely better than Sun Java documentation (had more examples) both of which are miles ahead of the worthless crap that ships with Ruby. Or at least the Rubies on my boxes. Unfortunately, I was never able to get any of the Linux .chm tools working to be able to read them natively. But I don't do much with C# anymore.

So in my quest to will myself into using and liking to use Ruby, I figured I'd give fxri a try. Actually I was using it on Windows (because it was built in to the Win32 install) and because I get no love from ri and I hate the web docs and I always forget to open up the dated copy of Ruby in a Nutshell i bough back in '01.

As you can see from the not-so-pretty picture (I had a darwinports version of libpng installed so why didn't the .png's render?) I did actually get fxri to build on OSX (PPC). First I tried using the libfox from ports and the fx-ruby and fxri stuff from GEMs.

No dice. Don't even bother. Here is how I did it (since I found only one tutorial last night on the the topic, and it was much more involved, and I lost it this afternoon)

Pull down the latest version (now it is 1.6.26) of the Fox toolkit and do the configure; make; make install dance (remembering to use the appropriate prefix). On my Powerbook G4 it took like 40 minutes. Of course you have to have necessary darwin stuff and X libraries, etc.

Pull down and FXRuby-1.6.11 and follow the procedure exactly:

Typical installation procedure is:
$ ruby install.rb config
$ ruby install.rb setup
# ruby install.rb install (may require root privilege)

Make sure you can do a require 'fox16' from irb. Maybe there are some demos or tests. I didn't bother.

Pull down fxri-0.3.6.tar.gz (warning it is one of those impolite tarballs that doesn't create a directory) and run the .rb and it mostly works. But it was ultimately unsatisfying. It was not the

I doubt this this fxri's fault, because the APIs I want to look up don't show up. I still don't know why docs I would expect to show up with ri/fxri don't make it. Is this a Mac thing. Is this a darwinports issue? They did on Windows. I know gems won't show up in the docs but stuff like CSV which are in the standard library just isn't there? On Windows there were over 7800 different entries that showed up in the left column. On my Powerbook I only have about 2800. What is up with that?

Given that so many Ruby fanboy's use Macs, I'm suprised there isn't a native Cocoa API viewer. I know there a Gnome viewer because I saw someone complaining the GEMs they installed didn't show up.

1 comment:

Lyle said...

Sorry you had so much trouble with this stuff, Matt. I have recently become the maintainer of the "fox" and "rb-fxruby" ports in MacPorts; can you tell me what it was that went wrong when you tried to install those (unless you've already filed a bug report on it and I've just overlooked that).