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[ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

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[ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Pedro Alves Valentim
Hi, everyone!

I'm here to announce AbsTK. The Abstract ToolKit is a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI (text-based user interface) applications. It allows you to, with the same source code, build a UI that runs on GUI (GTK) and TUI (Curses). AbsTK is written in Lua and uses lgi and lcurses bindings.

* http://github.com/PedroAlvesV/AbsTK

Install it through LuaRocks:
    luarocks install abstk

Concepts

The goal of AbsTK is producing wizard-like applications that can run with and without a desktop environment (DE). It's worth it for machines that don't have any DE installed, but also, for instance, installers in which you may prefer a light-weight text-mode (curses) interface, instead of using a GUI.

Although the toolkit focus is on building Wizards, individual Screens can also be produced. Actually, building Screens is the main part of building a Wizard. Wizards are no much more than a group of ordered Screens.

The routine is really minimalistic, but, as stated in the previous paragraph, has two modes. To create a Screen, you initialize it and populate it with widgets. If your UI is a single Screen, just run it. If it's a Wizard, repeat the first process to produce all the Screens. When done, simply create the Wizard, populate it with the Screens and run the Wizard.

Usage

The following example is a minimalistic newsletter subscription form.
It receives the running mode ("gtk" or "curses") as argument as the module is called.
At the end, it stores all submitted info into a Lua table called data.
local abstk = require 'abstk'
abstk.set_mode(...)

local scr = abstk.new_screen("Register Form")

scr:add_label('label', "Fill the fields to register")
scr:add_text_input('email', "E-mail")
scr:add_text_input('user', "Username")
scr:add_password('pswrd', "Password")
scr:add_checkbox('news', "Send me newsletter")

local data = scr:run()
License

Licensed under the terms of the MIT License, the same as Lua.

---

Any kind of feedback is strongly encouraged. I hope you enjoy it.

Regards,
Pedro Alves Valentim
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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Enrico Colombini
On 08-May-17 04:35, Pedro Alves wrote:

> Hi, everyone!
>
> I'm here to announce AbsTK. The Abstract ToolKit is a widget toolkit for
> GUI and TUI (text-based user interface) applications. It allows you to,
> with the same source code, build a UI that runs on GUI (GTK) and TUI
> (Curses). AbsTK is written in Lua and uses lgi
> <https://github.com/pavouk/lgi/> and lcurses
> <https://github.com/lcurses/lcurses> bindings.
>
> * http://github.com/PedroAlvesV/AbsTK

Looks nice! And documented with examples, too (the best sort of basic
documentation).

About:
"All it accepts is "curses" and "gtk", because it's not the kind of
thing that should be on the final version of your code"

Why not? Would it not be appropriate for a program that could be run in
single-user mode, or with an alternate text interface in case there is
not enough memory?

--
   Enrico

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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

steve donovan
In reply to this post by Pedro Alves Valentim
On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 4:35 AM, Pedro Alves
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> I'm here to announce AbsTK. The Abstract ToolKit is a widget toolkit for GUI
> and TUI (text-based user interface) applications. It allows you to, with the
> same source code, build a UI that runs on GUI (GTK) and TUI (Curses). AbsTK
> is written in Lua and uses lgi and lcurses bindings.

I must agree with Enrico, this is very cool. What I like is that the
backend widget library doesn't take over everything.

It is like my old friend xdialog (now called zenity) without the awful
interface.

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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Dirk Laurie-2
2017-05-08 10:25 GMT+02:00 steve donovan <[hidden email]>:

> On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 4:35 AM, Pedro Alves
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I'm here to announce AbsTK. The Abstract ToolKit is a widget toolkit for GUI
>> and TUI (text-based user interface) applications. It allows you to, with the
>> same source code, build a UI that runs on GUI (GTK) and TUI (Curses). AbsTK
>> is written in Lua and uses lgi and lcurses bindings.
>
> I must agree with Enrico, this is very cool. What I like is that the
> backend widget library doesn't take over everything.
>
> It is like my old friend xdialog (now called zenity) without the awful
> interface.

I have a few Python programs for e.g. compiling crosswords and
solving Sudoku-like puzzles that I have not migrated to Lua because
there was no satisfactori user interfaces. This might be the answer.

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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Pedro Alves Valentim
In reply to this post by Enrico Colombini
Enrico Colombini wrote
On 08-May-17 04:35, Pedro Alves wrote:
> Hi, everyone!
>
> I'm here to announce AbsTK. The Abstract ToolKit is a widget toolkit for
> GUI and TUI (text-based user interface) applications. It allows you to,
> with the same source code, build a UI that runs on GUI (GTK) and TUI
> (Curses). AbsTK is written in Lua and uses lgi
> <https://github.com/pavouk/lgi/> and lcurses
> <https://github.com/lcurses/lcurses> bindings.
>
> * http://github.com/PedroAlvesV/AbsTK

Looks nice! And documented with examples, too (the best sort of basic
documentation).

About:
"All it accepts is "curses" and "gtk", because it's not the kind of
thing that should be on the final version of your code"

Why not? Would it not be appropriate for a program that could be run in
single-user mode, or with an alternate text interface in case there is
not enough memory?

--
   Enrico
Thanks, Enrico!

About this quote, I admit it was written badly. What I meant was that there're better ways to call this function than passing the raw arguments table (suspension points).

So, this:
"All it accepts is 'curses' and 'gtk', because it's not the kind of thing that should be on the final version of your code."

Is, now:
"On the example above, I use the args table received when the application is called. This function needs to be called, before any other AbsTK function, with or without an argument, in order to determine which UI will be built. This argument must be a string. More precisely, 'curses' or 'gtk'."

Regards,
Pedro Alves Valentim
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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Pedro Alves Valentim
In reply to this post by Dirk Laurie-2
Dirk Laurie-2 wrote
2017-05-08 10:25 GMT+02:00 steve donovan <[hidden email]>:
> On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 4:35 AM, Pedro Alves
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I'm here to announce AbsTK. The Abstract ToolKit is a widget toolkit for GUI
>> and TUI (text-based user interface) applications. It allows you to, with the
>> same source code, build a UI that runs on GUI (GTK) and TUI (Curses). AbsTK
>> is written in Lua and uses lgi and lcurses bindings.
>
> I must agree with Enrico, this is very cool. What I like is that the
> backend widget library doesn't take over everything.
>
> It is like my old friend xdialog (now called zenity) without the awful
> interface.

I have a few Python programs for e.g. compiling crosswords and
solving Sudoku-like puzzles that I have not migrated to Lua because
there was no satisfactori user interfaces. This might be the answer.
I hope it fits ;)
It's pretty minimalist, though. I'll ask you some feedback about it, because I don't know if the currently implemented widgets are enough in general projects.
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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Enrico Colombini
On 09-May-17 08:34, Pedro Alves Valentim wrote:
> I hope it fits ;)
> It's pretty minimalist, though. I'll ask you some feedback about it, because
> I don't know if the currently implemented widgets are enough in general
> projects.

If you try to write a GUI usable for "general projects", you will go on
forever :-)

(learnt from experience)

I would stay on clean & small and add features only when actually needed.

--
   Enrico

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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

steve donovan
On Tue, May 9, 2017 at 9:13 AM, Enrico Colombini <[hidden email]> wrote:
> If you try to write a GUI usable for "general projects", you will go on
> forever :-)

Yes, not every application is Photoshop (or Gimp)

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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Scott Morgan
In reply to this post by Pedro Alves Valentim
On 05/08/2017 03:35 AM, Pedro Alves wrote:
> I'm here to announce AbsTK. The Abstract ToolKit is a widget toolkit for
> GUI and TUI (text-based user interface) applications. It allows you to,
> with the same source code, build a UI that runs on GUI (GTK) and TUI
> (Curses).
>
> * http://github.com/PedroAlvesV/AbsTK <http://github.com/PedroAlvesV/AbsTK>

> Any kind of feedback is strongly encouraged. I hope you enjoy it.

I like the look of this, covers a lot of simple, everyday UI stuff neatly.

Would it be possible to have some kind of validation for text fields?
e.g. check if an email address is formatted correctly and alert the user
if not. Make sure a checksum on a part number is correct.

It'd seem the callback function would be it, but that doesn't return any
data.

Scott

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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Pedro Alves Valentim
Scott Morgan wrote
On 05/08/2017 03:35 AM, Pedro Alves wrote:
> I'm here to announce AbsTK. The Abstract ToolKit is a widget toolkit for
> GUI and TUI (text-based user interface) applications. It allows you to,
> with the same source code, build a UI that runs on GUI (GTK) and TUI
> (Curses).
>
> * http://github.com/PedroAlvesV/AbsTK <http://github.com/PedroAlvesV/AbsTK>

> Any kind of feedback is strongly encouraged. I hope you enjoy it.

I like the look of this, covers a lot of simple, everyday UI stuff neatly.

Would it be possible to have some kind of validation for text fields?
e.g. check if an email address is formatted correctly and alert the user
if not. Make sure a checksum on a part number is correct.

It'd seem the callback function would be it, but that doesn't return any
data.

Scott
Hi, Scott.

Surely would! You can do it:
1- When the submit request is sent (when the user clicks "Done")
2- From the callback, which is triggered to any change in field's content
3- Another widget to validade it

(1) Initially, I think of using the "Exit Callback" which is, basically, a function that runs when the user finishes the form or wizard. On the wiki, I've wrote an example that checks if the password field is empty and, if it's not, it pops a dialog message demanding it to be filled.

Example: https://github.com/PedroAlvesV/AbsTK/wiki/Callbacks#exit-callback
(It is at the end of the page.)

(2) The second approach may be more invasive, because it may trigger while the user is writting and that's much annoying. However, it's a good option to, for instance, a field that only accepts numbers. You can erase the non-numeric values just as they are written.

Example (please, do not do this):
------
local validate_email = function(id, value)
   if not value:match('^[%w.]+@%w+%.%w+$') then
      scr1:show_message_box("Invalid e-mail.")
   end
end

scr1:add_text_input('email_field', "E-mail:", nil, "Enter your e-mail", validate_email)
------

(3) And, finally, an individual widget just to this test. Like a "Validate E-mail" button that has a callback to, obviously, validate the e-mail.

Example:
------
local validate_email = function(id, value)
   local email = scr1:get_value('email_field')
   if not email:match('^[%w.]+@%w+%.%w+$') then
      scr1:show_message_box("Invalid e-mail.")
   end
end

scr1:add_text_input('email_field', "E-mail:", nil, "Enter your e-mail")
scr1:add_button('validate_email_button', "Validate e-mail", nil, validate_email)
------

I think that's it. Tell me what you think.

Regards,
Pedro Alves Valentim
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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

彭 书呆
In reply to this post by Pedro Alves Valentim
在 2017/5/8 10:35, Pedro Alves 写道:

> Hi, everyone!
>
> I'm here to announce AbsTK. The Abstract ToolKit is a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI (text-based user interface) applications. It allows you to, with the same source code, build a UI that runs on GUI (GTK) and TUI (Curses). AbsTK is written in Lua and uses lgi <https://github.com/pavouk/lgi/> and lcurses <https://github.com/lcurses/lcurses> bindings.
>
> * http://github.com/PedroAlvesV/AbsTK <http://github.com/PedroAlvesV/AbsTK>
> [...]
>
> Any kind of feedback is strongly encouraged. I hope you enjoy it.
>
> Regards,
> Pedro Alves Valentim

UI widgets specific for wizard-like programs, very neat. this reminds me of the libyui,
but that is much more heavy-weighted UI widgets for __general__ usage.

I like AbsTK better though. it is much simpler and easier. we already had so many
"general purpose" GUI/TUI libraries anyway.

--
the nerdy Peng / 书呆彭 /

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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Dr Eberhard Lisse
In reply to this post by Pedro Alves Valentim
Pedro, Pavel

On a 5K iMac with MacOs 10.12.4 and Homebrew (from which I have
installed Lua 5.2.4) updated to the latest I have installed abstk and
it asked for lcurses and lgi, the latter of which required the setting
of PKG_CONFIG_PATH to find libffi.pc and then installed.

Whatever example I run I get this error:

/usr/local/bin/lua: /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/lgi/override/cairo.lua:31:
attempt to index field '_module' (a nil value)
stack traceback:
        /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/lgi/override/cairo.lua:31: in main chunk
        [C]: in function 'require'
        /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/lgi/namespace.lua:176: in function 'require'
        /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/lgi/namespace.lua:163: in function 'require'
        /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/lgi/namespace.lua:163: in function 'require'
        /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/lgi/namespace.lua:163: in function 'require'
        /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk/AbsGtk.lua:13: in main chunk
        [C]: in function 'require'
        /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk.lua:11: in main chunk
        [C]: in function 'require'
        /Users/el/Downloads/t.lua:3: in main chunk
        [C]: in ?

I am just starting to dabble a little in Lua (I am an elderly
Gynecologist using (LyX and) (lua)LaTeX) and have no idea what to do
next, even though I realize it seems to be an lgi issue as I get the
same when I run test programs within the lgi luarock.

Any help appreciated.

greetings, el

On 08/05/2017 03:35, Pedro Alves wrote:
[...]

> Install it through LuaRocks:
>     luarocks install abstk
[...]



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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Doug Currie
On Wed, May 10, 2017 at 6:20 AM, Dr Eberhard Lisse <[hidden email]> wrote:
... it seems to be an lgi issue as I get the
same when I run test programs within the lgi luarock.

I suspect lgi assumes gtk+3 is installed.

For Homebrew you could try:

    brew install gtk+3

and if it's not installed automatically by Homebrew:

    brew install gobject-introspection

Please let us know if that works for you. Or does anyone else have AbsTK working on the Mac?

e
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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Pedro Alves Valentim
Doug Currie wrote
On Wed, May 10, 2017 at 6:20 AM, Dr Eberhard Lisse <[hidden email]> wrote:

> ... it seems to be an lgi issue as I get the
> same when I run test programs within the lgi luarock.
>

I suspect lgi assumes gtk+3 is installed.

For Homebrew you could try:

    brew install gtk+3

and if it's not installed automatically by Homebrew:

    brew install gobject-introspection

Please let us know if that works for you. Or does anyone else have AbsTK
working on the Mac?

e
Yep. Just as Doug stated, this lgi issue is probably due the missing of "gobject-introspection" package. I usually solve it by installing "libgirepository1.0-dev", though. I think you should install this one I mentioned and test. I'm pretty sure it does the job (installing "gobject-introspection" along the way).
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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Sean Conner
In reply to this post by Dr Eberhard Lisse
It was thus said that the Great Dr Eberhard Lisse once stated:

> Pedro, Pavel
>
> On a 5K iMac with MacOs 10.12.4 and Homebrew (from which I have
> installed Lua 5.2.4) updated to the latest I have installed abstk and
> it asked for lcurses and lgi, the latter of which required the setting
> of PKG_CONFIG_PATH to find libffi.pc and then installed.
>
> Whatever example I run I get this error:
>
> /usr/local/bin/lua: /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/lgi/override/cairo.lua:31:
> attempt to index field '_module' (a nil value)
> stack traceback:
> /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/lgi/override/cairo.lua:31: in main chunk
> [C]: in function 'require'
> /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/lgi/namespace.lua:176: in function 'require'
> /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/lgi/namespace.lua:163: in function 'require'
> /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/lgi/namespace.lua:163: in function 'require'
> /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/lgi/namespace.lua:163: in function 'require'
> /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk/AbsGtk.lua:13: in main chunk
> [C]: in function 'require'
> /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk.lua:11: in main chunk
> [C]: in function 'require'
> /Users/el/Downloads/t.lua:3: in main chunk
> [C]: in ?
>
> I am just starting to dabble a little in Lua (I am an elderly
> Gynecologist using (LyX and) (lua)LaTeX) and have no idea what to do
> next, even though I realize it seems to be an lgi issue as I get the
> same when I run test programs within the lgi luarock.
>
> Any help appreciated.

  I submitted a patch last night to make the GTK bindings optional and it
was accepted [1] (along with the patch to let it run under Lua 5.1/5.2) so I
expect an update to be published soon.

  -spc

[1] https://github.com/PedroAlvesV/AbsTK/pull/9

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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Pedro Alves Valentim
Sean Conner wrote
It was thus said that the Great Dr Eberhard Lisse once stated:

[...]

  I submitted a patch last night to make the GTK bindings optional and it
was accepted [1] (along with the patch to let it run under Lua 5.1/5.2) so I
expect an update to be published soon.

  -spc

[1] https://github.com/PedroAlvesV/AbsTK/pull/9
I just updated it on both Github and LuaRocks. However, I don't think what Eberhard is looking for is managing it without GTK/lgi, but solve a bug about it.

If that's what he wants, though, he can simply reinstall the package through LuaRocks ;)

Regards,
Pedro Alves Valentim
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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Dr Eberhard Lisse
Thanks everybody,

but the fascination of this is that it can do curses AND gtk.

I have gtk+3 and gobject-introspection installed from Homebrew as they
are dependencies for stuff like gnumeric. I also had gtk+

I have noew removed gtk+ and reinstalled gtk+3, gobject-introspection
(through homebrew) and abstk (through luarocks).

libgirepository1.0-dev sounds like an APT package (ie ubuntu). Can't
find it in homebrew.

When running the example (t.lua)

local abstk = require 'abstk'
abstk.set_mode(...)
local scr = abstk.new_screen("My First AbsTK UI")
scr:add_label('hellow', "Hello, World!")
scr:add_label('msg1', "This is a minimal example to demonstrate AbsTK.")
scr:add_label('msg2', "The Screen is the main object of the toolkit. It
can run as standalone or added to a Wizard. Its routine consists in
creating it (line 2), populating it (lines 3 to 7) and running it (line
8).")
scr:run()


I get something like

lua t.lua gtk
lua: /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk.lua:61: attempt to index upvalue
'AbsGtk' (a nil value)
stack traceback:
        /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk.lua:61: in function 'new_screen'
        t.lua:5: in main chunk
        [C]: in ?
       
when I do this

lua t.lua curses

nothing seems to happen, but when I scoll back on the scrren I get the
blue window epected and this:

/usr/local/bin/lua: /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk/AbsCurses.lua:200:
attempt to index upvalue 'utf8' (a nil value)
stack traceback:
         /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk/AbsCurses.lua:200: in function 'new'
         /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk/AbsCurses.lua:947: in function
'create_widget' /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk/AbsCurses.lua:955: in
function 'add_label'
        /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk.lua:77: in function 'add_label'
        ./t.lua:6: in main chunk
        [C]: in ?


Anyone using homebrew out there?

el

On 10/05/2017 19:11, Pedro Alves Valentim wrote:
[]...]
> I just updated it on both Github and LuaRocks. However, I don't think
> what Eberhard is looking for is managing it without GTK/lgi, but solve
> a bug about it.
>
> If that's what he wants, though, he can simply reinstall the package
> through LuaRocks ;)
>
> Regards,
> Pedro Alves Valentim
[...]
On 10/05/2017 18:08, Pedro Alves Valentim wrote:
[]...]

>> I suspect lgi assumes gtk+3 is installed.
>>
>> For Homebrew you could try:
>>
>>     brew install gtk+3
>>
>> and if it's not installed automatically by Homebrew:
>>
>>     brew install gobject-introspection
>>
>> Please let us know if that works for you. Or does anyone else have
>> AbsTK working on the Mac?
[...]
> Yep. Just as Doug stated, this lgi issue is probably due the missing
> of "gobject-introspection" package. I usually solve it by installing
> "libgirepository1.0-dev", though. I think you should install this one
> I mentioned and test. I'm pretty sure it does the job (installing
> "gobject-introspection" along the way).


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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Doug Currie
On Thu, May 11, 2017 at 6:15 AM, Dr Eberhard Lisse <[hidden email]> wrote:
...
Anyone using homebrew out there?

I couldn't get AbsTk working with homebrew either. The problem I gave up on is pathname incompatibility between Linux and brew, e.g.,

libgirepository1.0-dev sounds like an APT package (ie ubuntu). Can't
find it in homebrew.

It's in

/usr/local/Cellar/gobject-introspection/1.52.0_1/lib/libgirepository-1.0.1.dylib

e
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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Dr Eberhard Lisse
Thanks,

libgirepository is there.

Eventually someone will figure it out :-)-O

el



On 11/05/2017 13:57, Doug Currie wrote:

> On Thu, May 11, 2017 at 6:15 AM, Dr Eberhard Lisse <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>     Anyone using homebrew out there?
>
>
> I couldn't get AbsTk working with homebrew either. The problem I gave
> up on is pathname incompatibility between Linux and brew, e.g.,
>
>     libgirepository1.0-dev sounds like an APT package (ie
>     ubuntu). Can't
>
>     find it in homebrew.
>
>
> It's in
>
> /usr/local/Cellar/gobject-introspection/1.52.0_1/lib/libgirepository-1.0.1.dylib
>
> e



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Re: [ANN] AbsTK – a widget toolkit for GUI and TUI applications

Pedro Alves Valentim
Wait. I didn't get it. Did you solve it with "libgirepository"?

------

I get something like

lua t.lua gtk
lua: /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk.lua:61: attempt to index upvalue
'AbsGtk' (a nil value)
stack traceback:
        /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk.lua:61: in function 'new_screen'
        t.lua:5: in main chunk
        [C]: in ?
/usr/local/bin/lua: /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk/AbsCurses.lua:200:
attempt to index upvalue 'utf8' (a nil value)
stack traceback:
         /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk/AbsCurses.lua:200: in function 'new'
         /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk/AbsCurses.lua:947: in function
'create_widget' /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk/AbsCurses.lua:955: in
function 'add_label'
        /usr/local/share/lua/5.2/abstk.lua:77: in function 'add_label'
        ./t.lua:6: in main chunk
        [C]: in ?
Both errors where due to the last patch's code. I didn't revise it carefully and am profoundly sorry about that. I just fixed and updated it. Could you test it again?

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Regards,
Pedro Alves Valentim
12
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