Robotic Tendencies
The personal blog of Robert McQueen

April 24, 2005

Things that just don’t work

I’m getting increasingly annoyed with quirks in Rhythmbox’s UI and don’t have enough patience to track them down and patch them by bumbling through the strange bonobo hoops and layers of object abstractions they’ve used at every stage to implement what is at first glance not that hard a problem (although as a disclaimer, I don’t really appreciate the issues involved, it just *seems* highly overcomplicated). I had a browse around for some other music library program for GNOME, and found Sonance, which is fully buzzword enabled with C#, Glade and GStreamer, and initially started as an XMMS-type queue songs and play them thing, but looks in SVN trunk to have grown into a program that quite resembles Rhythmbox’s UI for a music library, but might grate less initially and be much easier to hack. Worth a try at least, so I installed Mono 1.1.6 and Gtk# stuff from experimental (why do people insist on building packages in experimental against eg experimental’s libc? I’d have happily waited for that one to hit unstable), checked gst-sharp (the only remaining dependency) out of Mono CVS, and tried building it. The result?

robot101@alpha:~/projects/sonance/gst-sharp$ ./autogen.sh
**Warning**: I am going to run `configure' with no arguments.
If you wish to pass any to it, please specify them on the
`./autogen.sh' command line.

Running aclocal  ...
Running autoheader...
Running automake --gnu  ...
Running autoconf ...
configure.in:9: error: possibly undefined macro: PKG_PATH
      If this token and others are legitimate, please use m4_pattern_allow.
      See the Autoconf documentation.
**Error**: autoconf failed.
robot101@alpha:~/projects/sonance/gst-sharp$

The line in question just says PKG_PATH= to clear a variable before using it, and has been the same in gst-sharp CVS for about a year, so autoconf must’ve changed its mind about what’s allowable. As a consequence I’m unable to try Sonance or any other gst-sharp based programs such as Muine which I’d have also liked to try. Guess I have to stick with shouting at Rhythmbox for the moment. This awesome t-shirt suddenly becomes more tempting.

Update: Interesting. That *ERROR* actually meant it produced me a configure script anyway. Wow… cool.

posted by Robert McQueen @ 7:50 pm
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3 Responses to “Things that just don’t work”

  1. As of version 0.16 of pkg-config, pkg-config’s m4 script disallows any other to use variables matching _PKG_* or PKG_*, as those variables are part of pkg-config’s namespace. Just kick the upstream maintainer for trespassing on other people’s namespaces and get it changed and all should be fine.

  2. J says:

    If you want something easier to hack, I suggest that you try out MPD, the Music Player Daemon. It decouples the interface from the actual music player; you could write any arbitrary interface you want for it. It includes C and Python bindings, though the latter seems to be broken in unstable at the moment.

  3. Ralph Shlidger says:

    Sonance from SVN comes with a pre-built gst-sharp.dll assembly. To use it, configure sonance with –enable-bundled-gst-sharp. Also read the README file for the project – you’d be amazed that developers actually put help in that file!

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