Sunday, October 2, 2011

Getting started with GemKit - part 1

I've started working on upgrading GemKit to VisualWorks 7.8.  The first order of business is to get GemKit running in the latest environment known to work.  That would be VisualWorks 7.5.  Although that version is reported to be working in VisualWorks 7.6, it hasn't been tested much in that environment so I figured that 7.5 is a better starting point.

Before I can get GemKit running, though, I need GemStone.  I have two choices - I can run the 32 bit version on my Windows laptop which is the most convenient or I can run the 64 bit version on my 64-bit Ubuntu Linux system.  Unfortunately, the processor on my laptop doesn't have the ability to run VMWare so I can't run a virtual Linux OS on the laptop.

I decide that I actually need both 32 and 64 bit GemStone versions and I'd like to make sure GemKit runs on both. So, while I upgrade Linux to the latest version of Ubuntu, I grab GemStone 6.5.8 and install it.

Installing GemStone on Windows takes some effort but if you follow the instructions carefully you can do it. One step of the instructions, however, is that you need to put your gemstone.key file into the sys directory.  Lovely.  Where do I get gemstone.key?  Good news! There's a key in the Cincom installation directory for VW7.8 under contributed/GemStone/Server/Windows.  Yay!  Bad news: the key expires April 15th, 2010 - about a year before VW7.8 was released.  Fortunately, I can fool GemStone by setting my system clock back.  It's not pretty but it works.

Ok, I have GemStone 6.5.8 running.  Now I need GemKit.  Fortunately, there are parcels available in the contributed directory.  Ok, that's another problem.  Who would have thought that the contributed directory of VisualWorks would have 32 bit version of the server but 64 but versions of GemBuilder Smalltalk?  I'm sure that it will come in handy when I connect to the Linux system, but for now, I need to find a 32 bit version of GemBuilder.

The GemStone community site allows you to download lots of versions of GemBuilder/Smalltalk.  All of them are 64 bit versions, though.  I finally managed to track down 32 bit versions in the Cincom Public Store Repository.  These seem like older versions but with a few tweaks and fixes I can get them to connect to GemStone 6.5.8.  Yay!

Installing GemStone 64 on Ubuntu Linux is a bit more challenging.  One part of the process involves verifying the checksums of all the files.  This process fails left right and center with error messages.  I suspect that this is because the installation instructions are for RedHat Linux and not Ubuntu.  Fortunately, I can skip this step and continue to install the files.  When I get to the point where I need a licence key, I decide to put it aside for now.  I'm working through my channels to get valid license keys for everything.

In part 2, I'll talk about getting GemKit running.

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