Blinkenlights Toolkit available via DarwinPorts

Hooray! The Blinkenlights Toolkit is now almost completely available for Mac OS X via the DarwinPorts system. So now it‘s a lot easier to get everything installed properly without going through the lengthy process I described earlier.

To make it work for you, you have install DarwinPorts first. After having fetched everything, there should be four ports available that relate to Blinkenlights:

  • blib – the Blinkenlights Library, foundation of the whole Toolkit
  • blinkentools – the Blinkenlights Command Line Tools for converting and sending Blinkenlights movies
  • blinkensim – the Blinkenlights Simulator allowing to visualize Blinkenlights Movies send via the Blinkenlights Protocol
  • blinkenthemes – companion theme files for the Blinkenlights Simulator

After having completed the DarwinPorts installation, you can simply install everything by typing:

  $ sudo port install blib
  $ sudo port install blinkentools
  $ sudo port install blinkenthemes
  $ sudo port install blinkensim

This is it. After installing everything, all the programs should be available in /opt/local/bin. Keep in mind that there are several dependencies, especially the simulator needs access to X Windows so you should have X11 (which is included in the Mac OS X 10.3 Install CD 3) and the X11 SDK installed (which is included in the Developer Tools CD) both of which are not enabled by default.

Furthermore, there are several other options how to build blib. For instance, there is an experimental option for having the blinkensim output via aalib to the terminal instead of using X11. It‘s sort of nice, but the (non-existent) performance of Terminal.app makes it even more experimental. However, if you want to build it that way, you have to install blib with sudo port install blib +aa instead.

I will explain more about using the Blinkenlights Toolkit here soon. For those who know the DarwinPorts integration it should be much easier to track changes. Please note that DarwinPorts itself is under heavy development and that minor issues might come up now and then.

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