SIL LSDev Linux Development

Language software for Linux and Mac OS X

FieldWorks Packages made

At 7pm Calgary time on Friday, we produced the first working Linux packages for FieldWorks. These were installed and briefly tested in a fresh virtual machine running Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid”.

There are a couple of small things that need to happen before we make these available to others, though, and since today’s a public holiday here we won’t finish those until tomorrow.

In the coming week or two we plan to work on bugs identified by testers, and improve the packaging structure. In particular, we want to split it into several smaller packages that can be upgraded separately, so that people don’t have to re-download all the help text and tutorial movies whenever we make a small fix to the code.

We are classifying this as an alpha release rather than a beta, because we feel it needs further testing within a controlled setting before being made more widely available. We will promote it to beta as soon as it seems stable enough, and at the latest by the middle of next month when the Windows version of FieldWorks becomes available as a beta.

One of the things that needs to happen is for us to set up a separate “experimental” package repository that people can use for accessing the alpha software. Once the beta is available we will put it into the usual SIL package repository, but include clear warnings that it’s still a beta.

10 Responses to “FieldWorks Packages made”

  1. Mike says:

    How do we get it if we want to test?

  2. Michael says:

    Click on the link Neil posted and follow the instructions on that page. As of this point in time they are not up yet anyway.

  3. kent says:

    Sorry, do you mean that instructions for assisting with Alpha testing will be posted on Or are you talking about a link in some other post? The post on the Linux Users List only linked to this blog entry…

    But if it’s a matter of waiting, I hope we can all do that.

  4. Michael says:

    From what I understand from Neil’s post is that when it is available it will be on Further, from what I understand of Mikes post he is asking how do we get it. If you take a look at it explains how to set up your sources list. After that its all automatic.

    I haven’t seen anything on any Linux User list at all, could you please post the link for me.

  5. Neil Mayhew says:

    Sorry I wasn’t clearer. The alpha will be available through the experimental package repository I haven’t set up yet. When it goes beta it will go into SIL’s add-on package repository at (aka p.s.o). We will supply instructions for adding both of those to your system so that the packages will be included automatically in the list of software available to install on your system.

    I hope to finish setting up the experimental repo later today, but I’m having a few niggling problems with a needed rebuild of the fieldworks package. I’ll make a new blog post when it’s ready, with a link to a wiki page with comprehensive instructions for testers.

    We want to keep alpha and beta clearly separated by putting them in separate repos, so that people don’t install the alpha unless they are really sure that’s what they want to do. Many SIL people already have p.s.o in their list of package sources and so we don’t want to put the alpha there.

  6. Michael says:

    Hi Neil, and team.

    I have added the lucid-experimental repository to my sources list and downloaded the 3 packages (fieldworks, fieldworks-libgdiplus, and fieldworks-mono) when they become available. I haven’t done much with this fieldworks but I did start it up and found a Data folder was not created during the installation process and the error screen recommended re-installation. Re-installation did not change anything but it was a simple fix anyway as I just created the Data folder myself.

    I will start on testing through the weekend.


  7. Neil Mayhew says:

    There are a few known deficiencies in the packages which is why we haven’t made a formal announcement yet. I wasn’t expecting anyone to find lucid-experimental on their own! That was some good sleuthing on your part :-)

    We’re working on a page of instructions for testers that I’ll announce later today, hopefully.

  8. Mike Cochran says:

    Well, I have been testing some and have virtual machines for both Linux and Windows to compare to see where the issues I am finding are Linux or common issues. I was hoping that for the experimental branch we might get updates fairly frequently. Any thoughts on this? I hope to get the guys at Payap up and running tomorrow.

  9. Josh Jensen says:

    Been anxiously anticipating news — and waiting especially for a Mac build, since I require a custom keyboard, and it’s not obvious that there’s a user-friendly way to do that on Ubuntu.

  10. Neil Mayhew says:

    @Josh: we use kmfl for custom keyboarding. It has packages in standard Ubuntu, and the newest versions are at the SIL package repo, . I think you’ll find it does everything you need. The kmfl project is hosted at

Leave a Reply