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How to install TkSesh on Mac OS X

What is TkSesh?

TkSesh is a hieroglyphic database program by S. Rosmorduc which allows you to easily view and edit hieroglyphic texts, e.g. for translating. It already includes a couple of texts (some Coffin Texts, steles from the Louvre Museum, The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor, The Destruction of Mankind, etc.), and you can easily import or export hieroglyphic texts, making it easy to share texts with colleagues around the world. For more information go to S. Rosmorducs home page of TkSesh (http://www.iut.univ-paris8.fr/~rosmord/TKSESH), which includes an excellent presentation of the applications main purposes and capacities.

Why this page to install TkSesh on OS X?

TkSesh is only provided as source code for UNIX operating systems (like Linux or Mac OS X). This means you cannot just immediately launch the application after you‘ve downloaded it—things are a bit more complicated than that to get it running on a Mac! Since it has been developed on Linux, it still needs some (minor) changes before it‘ll work on Mac OS X too. For these changes, you will need a good understanding of computer programming to bring it to a good end, and most Egyptologists probably have other capacities than that! Therefore, I've made this installation guide (with the help of some other people of course) to help you install TkSesh without troubles!

Things you need before installing TkSesh

TkSesh needs a couple of other applications before it will work. You will need an application called Tcl/Tk. The best (and also easiest) way to do this is with Fink and Fink Commander (an OS X graphical user interface for the text-based program). Fink is an application that is used to install common UNIX open source applications (such as The Gimp) on OS X. Just download and install both Fink and Fink Commander on your computer (this shouldn’t be a problem, you can find all the information you need on their respective websites).

Please note that Fink will not work if you haven’t installed the Apple Developer Tools. These include some applications required by Fink (e.g. the gcc-compiler). So first ensure you have installed the Developer Tools (named XCode in OS X 10.3). This can be easily checked in the Finder. If you have a folder ‘Developer’ (with a hammer on the folder icon) on your ‘Macintosh HD’, the Developer Tools are already installed on your system (screenshot 1). (Click on any of the screenshots to see a larger version, which is a bit more clear.) If not, install them from your Mac OS X cd-rom/dvd or download them from Apple's website.

You will also need X11 further in the installation process. It is usually installed in ‘Applications > Utilities’. If it’s not installed there, install it from your OS X cd-rom/dvd or download it from Apple.

Installing Tcl/Tk

After the installation of these applications, launch Fink Commander.

  1. After a couple of seconds you see the database with all available applications you can install using Fink (screenshot 2).
  2. Then just type in the search box at the right top ‘tcltk’. This will list all matching files.
  3. Select ‘tcltk (Tool Command Language and the Tk toolkit)’ (screenshot 3). Then click on the second icon from left in the toolbar (the one with ‘.h’ and ‘+’).
  4. Now the installation procedure is starting. You'll have to be logged in as administrator (this is usually the first user you’ve created on your computer). If you haven’t got administrator rights, you’ll be asked for an administrator username and password.

During the installation, Fink Commander can ask you a couple of questions:

  • a list of all the packages that will be installed is presented first, you have the option to abort (‘N’) or continue (‘Y’) the process. Type ‘Y’ or just choose the default option.
  • if downloading of some files fails, you can choose if you want to retry using the same server/another mirror or stop the installation. If necessary, retry some times with different options, starting with the default one.
  • for compiling, Fink Commander can ask you to change some options of the gcc-compiler. If so, just follow the instructions by copy and pasting the command you have to execute into a Terminal window (Applications>Utilities>Terminal). This happened on my system (OS X 10.3), but may not be necessary on older systems. You’ll probably need administrator rights here too. If it’s still not working, add ‘sudo’ before the command and enter your password. This will normally make things work…
  • if you don’t understand what Fink Commander is asking you, just accept the default option—most times it‘s the best one…

Be aware that you’re actually compiling the whole Tcl/Tk-system, so don’t think it’ll be a matter of minutes. It can take a while, so be patient…

Installing TkSesh

When Tcl/Tk is successfully installed, you can go on to the installation of TkSesh:

  1. Begin by downloading TkSeshMac.tar.bz2. If you‘ve downloaded it from S. Rosmorducs website, don‘t use those files. They do not include the necessary changes needed to work on Mac OS X…
  2. Save the file somewhere on your hard disk, it doesn’t really matter where. Double-click the .bz2-file, this will open Stuffit Expander, it will unstuff all the files in the archive and there will appear a folder ‘tksesh’.
  3. Now move the folder tksesh to the location ‘/sw/share/’. You will need administrator rights to be able to do this. If you do not have these rights, OS X will ask for an administrator user and password (screenshots 4 and 5).
  4. Now start X11. This will bring up a Terminal window. Type the following commands (hitting return after each line):
    cd /sw/share/tksesh/
    sudo wish install.tcl
  5. Now you’ll see a small window confirming that TkSesh is installed. Close it and return to the Terminal window. Then type the following line to launch TkSesh:
    ./tkseshb.tcl
  6. That’s all! TkSesh is now up and running (screenshot 6) and ready to be used.

Launching TkSesh

You can also launch TkSesh with the Terminal application (located just as well in ‘Applications > Utilities’), but it won't work if X11 is not running. Also keep in mind that if you close a terminal window (the X11 terminal or the Terminal application), all processes started in that window will also stop. So don’t close the terminal window where you’ve launched TkSesh, or TkSesh will be closed too!

Now, I now that launching TkSesh this way is not as easy as double-clicking an icon in the dock, but we can already be happy that such software exists for the Macintosh platform. After all, you just have to start X11 en type one line (/sw/share/tksesh/tkseshb.tcl) to launch it. If you don’t like to enter such a line each time you want to start TkSesh, you can make a small shellscript that does it for you:

  1. Open a new TextEdit-file (be sure it’s a plain text-file, if it’s an RTF-file with fonts etc., hit Apple+Shift+T) and copy the following lines (they are actually from the file tkseshb.tcl):
    #!/bin/sh
    # the next line restarts using wish\
    exec /sw/bin/wish "$0" "$@"
    set env(SESHLIB) /sw/share/tksesh/tcllib
    set SESHLIB $env(SESHLIB)
    #for unix
    set env(ldext) so
    set env(DEFAULTSELECTION) CLIPBOARD
    event add <<Paste>> <Control-y>
    event add <<Paste>> <Button-2>
    source [file join $SESHLIB essaisesh.tcl]
  2. Save it as ‘tksesh’ (without any extension!) on your desktop.
  3. Then open the Terminal-application and type the following commands:
    cd Desktop
    chmod +x tksesh
    sudo mv tksesh /sw/bin/
    (enter your password)

From now on, you just have to type tksesh in any terminal-window to launch TkSesh. Enjoy!

Many thanks to…

Finally I want to thank some persons who have tried (and succeeded!) to tackle the compiling/installation problem for me: J. Sabbe and K. Vervloesem. A great help was again the MacAtKul-forum (and the irc-channel), which was nice place to look for some more experienced people…

©2005 F. Vervloesem.
The author of this page claims no rights on the HieroTex-package, which is © S. Rosmorduc.
Please go to his website for any further information on TkSesh.