Archive for January, 2007:

wxCL, SBCL, and Windows

wxCL is a GUI package for Common Lisp that uses wxWidgets, and it seems to look pretty good on Windows and Linux, and the code is sufficiently lispy. Exactly what I’m looking for, except it’s in alpha. Serious, seeping wound alpha. I haven’t gotten it working on Linux yet, but it works on Windows. The asdf-install included in SBCL 1.0 for Windows doesn’t work, and asdf doesn’t work with Windows links, so here is what I ended up doing. First, I unpacked the wxcl archive to ~/.scbl/site. This is where asdf-install would put it. Then I copied the function sysdef-source-dir-search from the current asdf-install release to installer.lisp in SBCL’s version. Finally, I add that function to asdf:system-definition-search-functions so ASDF can find stuff in .sbcl/site.

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Mathcad 13 with Wine, first attempt

The professor for my electricity and magnetism class wants me to use Mathcad instead of Maple, so I bought the student version. I’ve been using it on my Windows laptop for a week or so, but it would be nice to be able to run it on my desktop. The Wine compatibility lists show good results with earlier versions of Mathcad, so I thought it might work out. Unfortunately, it requires the .NET framework, which requires IE 5, which I’m not going to install just yet. Damn.

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Flash 9 in Linux

Those of you in the know already know that Adobe recently released Flash 9 for Linux. An official, honest to god, up to date version. The best part? It actually works.

I’ve had problems with Flash since I switched to Linux, because I foolishly chose the AMD64 version of Kubuntu. After messing around with a 32-bit chroot for awhile, I finally discovered Swiftfox, a version of Firefox compiled to use 32-bit libraries but optimized for, and compatible with, 64-bit systems. I could watch Flash movies again. Sound didn’t work, but who needs to hear them anyway? Oh, and since Macromedia never released Flash 8 for Linux, there were more and more SWF’s that I couldn’t watch. And it crashed the browser a lot.

Okay, so it totally sucked.

Even so, I was pretty disappointed after I upgraded to Swiftfox 2 and found that Flash stopped working. Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the missing plugin button and saw that Flash 9 was available. I knew Flash 9 for Linux was out, but I’ve never had the plugin search feature actually work correctly. Then, right before my eyes, Flash 9 installed, the page reloaded, and the SWF started playing. With sound. “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” came on the radio, the sun broke through the clouds of winter storms, and a chorus of angels heralded, or trumpeted, or whatever it is that choruses of angels do.

It’s almost as if big companies are starting to take Linux seriously.

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