searchQuick Apprise: SIX #GoogleSummerOfCode #FOSSASIA


The intended searchQuick” (sQuick) is an application to enable a user to search a set of books or texts, like an encyclopedia, or some other topical book collection offline built in the open source platform Pharo 4.0.


The main task achieved was putting up the application up on Continuous Integration, Inria for automated build. It was indeed a beneficial idea as it helped me keep a check on the builds and work on issues.
Being a newbie, this work was cumbersome initially but with the help of my mentors and the #pharo community, I was able to accomplish it. To assist fellow Pharo-ers, I have compiled all the information regarding CI Automated Build for yout Pharo Application and published the same on my blog-spot. Kindly go through it for a complete understanding 🙂

Other tasks completed as of now include:

  • Putting up the project for automated build on
  • Successful ‘stable’ and ‘development’ version builds
  • Accessing resource folder via MCGitHubRepository, Removal of manual download option
  • By default full screen system window open
  • Removing redundant code by creating open argument methods
  • Abolishment of hard-coded font family and font point size
  • Categorization of methods & classes
  • GUI Embellishment with background colors, borders etc.


  • Dynamic widget re-sizing
  • Multi-line search result title
  • Putting up Help and About sections
  • Removal of old configurations

Continue Reading

Importance of the test cases for the KnitLib

Having test cases is very important especially for a library like KnitLib because using test cases; we can clearly test particular fields.  In KnitLib, test cases show the information of how the KnitLib should be checked. Also test cases help for new contributors to understand about the KnitLib.

There are several test cases for the current KnitLib implementation such as tests on ayab communication, tests on ayab image, tests on command line interface, tests on KnitPat module and tests on knitting plugin.

For an example in ayab communication there are several important functions have been tested. Test on closing serial port communication, test on opening serial port with a baud rate of 115200 which ayab fits, tests on sending start message to the controller, tests on sending line of data via serial port and tests on reading line from serial communication.  Most of these tests have been done using mock tests. Mock is a python library to test in python.  Using mocks we can replace parts of our system with mock objects and have assertions about how they have been used. We can easily represent some complex objects without having to manually set up stubs as mock objects during a test.

It is very important to improve further test cases on the KnitLib because with the help of good test cases we can guarantee that the KnitLib’s features and functionalities should be working great.



Continue Reading

searchQuick Apprise: FIVE #GoogleSummerOfCode #FOSSASIA


The intended searchQuick” (sQuick) is an application to enable a user to search a set of books or texts, like an encyclopedia, or some other topical book collection offline built in the open source platform Pharo 4.0.


As the rudimentary structure of the application is sewn up, embellishment of GUI and rigorous testing are the major part of course of action.
On eMBee’s ( +Martin Bähr ) suggestion to build up an accordion widget to display the search results, various trials were conducted to design a similar one in Pharo.

The task of developing the accordion widget in Pharo was achieved using Expander Morphs. Looping through the search results array, a #newExpander: was added in each #newRow: of the modal built.

A challenging chore was to add a scroll-able content on the click of the desired search result expander. Sundry experiments with #newLabel: and #newText: in #newScrollPaneFor: {i.e. adding text model and labels in scroll pane} had no effect. Eventually, #newTextEditorFor: did the trick and the desired look was created.
Next on the cards is putting up sQuick for automated build on the CI Server, as suggested by +Sean DeNigris for its various advantages which include:
  • Improvement of product quality
  • Acceleration of compile and link processing
  • Elimination of redundant tasks
  • Minimization of ‘bad builds’
  • Have history of builds and releases in order to investigate issues
  • Save time and money – because of above listed reasons.
For simplicity, Build automation is the act of scripting or automating a wide variety of tasks that software developers do in their day-to-day activities including things like:
  • compiling computer source code into binary code
  • packaging binary code
  • running automated tests
  • deploying to production systems
  • creating documentation and/or release notes
To achieve Build Automation for sQuick, I have already registered on CI and configured sQuick.
Next endeavor is to look into the red signal in the build evaluation.

Stay tuned for more….Post any queries, will be happy to help 🙂
Continue Reading

More about sTeam’s command line interface

This post will take you through some interesting work that I have been doing for my project under FOSSASIA. This project is being done under the google summer of code platform. I have been working on various code scripts as my project is all about improving the tools of the sTeam collaboration platform. But this particular script is a command line interface that I am thrilled to work on.

If you are not familiar with what sTeam is, you can look it up here, sTeam

Let me start with how sTeam originally works for any user. This picture will give you a clear view about it.


If you are new to the sTeam platform, this script will take you through the sTeam commands and the interface, also making sure, you have fun in the process. It lets the user play with sTeam and get to know more about how it works. One other interesting concept that we have tried to integrate here is that of MUDs(Multi user dungeons/dimensions). Some of you may already be familiar with the concept of MUDs( others, please look it up here MUD). We have tried to bring the MUD kind of experience to this sTeam interface (like I said, thrilling!).

I have seen people go through a lot of tutorials on git, and the commands(sometimes complex) through which it operates, and yet, people have difficulty learning it. What if it had a MUD type of interaction, which would just let you type “create file” “commit file” “get commit content” “upload file” “rename file” “goto repo”, etc. Wouldnt it be much easier that way? Well, sTeam is going through all the extensive tool development so that it can make a user-friendly interaction. Here are some screenshots of this interface,






This interface is under heavy development and plans to make sTeam more and more interesting for its users. If you have any questions on sTeam, please feel free to contact me, or join us on our daily scrum meetings on IRC (#steam-devel) or join #fossasia and ping us with a question.

If you are looking for a open source project and want to contribute to FOSSASIA, Please have a look at FOSSASIA labs.

Continue Reading

Dockerizing sTeam

I am currently working with sTeam collaboration platform as a GSoC dev under FOSSASIA umbrella.

sTeam has a lot of depencencies. A lot! One major issue faced by developers was version conflict between dependencies. Docker seemed to solve this issue. Docker is a great image distribution model for server templates. It uses btrfs (a copy-on-write filesystem) to keep track of filesystem diff’s which can be committed and collaborated on with other users (like git). It also has a central repository of disk images that allow you to easily run different operating systems and shares the host kernel.

In this post, I will explain the workflow of containerizing sTeam with Docker.

Prepend sudo

  • Install docker on host system, start & enable the docker.service
dnf install docker
systemctl start docker
systemctl enable docker
  • Pull a base image from docker hub

Note: It is upto you which image to use. I am using Ubuntu as base image.

docker pull ubuntu:latest
  • List the images to verify the pull
docker images

.. should display ubuntu latest xxxxxxxxxxxx x months ago x MB

  • Build your own image
docker build -t="dolftax/steam"
  • Lets run bash to install sTeam itself and its dependencies
docker run -t -i dolftax/steam /bin/bash
  • Install the packages and its dependencies.

In my case, sTeam server. Installation steps –

  • Grab latest container ID. The first one would be the recently closed container.
docker ps -a
docker commit [container-id] dolftax/steam:v1

You should get a long hash as the success message

Note: v1 is a tag Don’t use latest tag. Don’t be tempted by it.
  • Create a docker hub account and login
docker login

.. which is self explanatory.

  • Push the image to docker hub (Before that, create a docker hub account anddocker login)
docker push dolftax/steam


.. after containerizing with docker, sTeam installation is as easy as

docker pull dolftax/steam:v1

Try containerizing your project and you would love it.

Continue Reading

Intriguing Read (Bootstrapping Reflective Systems: The Case of Pharo)

Hiya Fellas 😀

So, while I was browsing through various developments in Pharo, I came across a very eye-catching paper on Bootstrapping Reflective Systems: The case of Pharo .

For beginners, Bootstrapping is basically the process of writing a compiler or an assembler in the source programming language in which it is intended to compile. Applying this technique leads to self-hosting compiler that proceeds without external input.

Though, I am still a newbie and in the process of grasping all this ingenious stuff.
But I am sure that this paper ( Poli12-BootstrappingSmalltalk-SCP ) by G. Polito , S. Ducasse , L. Fabresse , N. Bouraqadi , B. van Ryseghem would make for an interesting read.

Do scan through it and post below your ideas and queries !

Continue Reading

How to implement JSONP to download XML resource

According to the same-origin security policy, web page can freely share images, stylesheets, scripts… but web fonts and AJAX requests are only accessible from the same domain.

Sometimes this is not desired behaviour, such as when getting a json / xml file from a different domain, using AJAX. In such cases, it all comes down to two solutions :

1- The source sets its header to allow specific domain cross-origin resource sharing (CORS). In PHP, this is done with header function :

header('Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *');

2- Use JSONP.

JSONP is short for JSON padding, a well-known “workaround” to solve CORS. It only works with GET.

To send AJAX requests using JSONP, the server must first knows how to respond to JSONP requests. It usually detects JSONP requests using callback parameter.

// compute result

// output result

// json helper class - credits : @andibraeu
class JsonpHelper {
	private static function is_valid_callback($subject)
	      = '/^[$_\p{L}][$_\p{L}\p{Mn}\p{Mc}\p{Nd}\p{Pc}\x{200C}\x{200D}]*+$/u';
	    $reserved_words = array('break', 'do', 'instanceof', 'typeof', 'case',
	      'else', 'new', 'var', 'catch', 'finally', 'return', 'void', 'continue', 
	      'for', 'switch', 'while', 'debugger', 'function', 'this', 'with', 
	      'default', 'if', 'throw', 'delete', 'in', 'try', 'class', 'enum', 
	      'extends', 'super', 'const', 'export', 'import', 'implements', 'let', 
	      'private', 'public', 'yield', 'interface', 'package', 'protected', 
	      'static', 'null', 'true', 'false');
	    return preg_match($identifier_syntax, $subject)
	        && ! in_array(mb_strtolower($subject, 'UTF-8'), $reserved_words);

	public static function outputXML($string) {
		# JSON if no callback
		if( ! isset($_GET['callback']) )
		$string = str_replace("\n", " ", str_replace("'", '"', $string));
		# JSONP if valid callback
		# Otherwise, bad request
		header('status: 400 Bad Request', true, 400);

Line 29 is dedicated to replace all single-quote characters to double-quote, and new lines to simple space. This is to be able to pass xml document as valid javasript string parameter.

Then, the client can use jQuery to get the document from a different domain (it works on same domain as well, which is convenient for testing & development) :

	url : source_url,
	dataType : 'jsonp',  // if dataType is set to 'jsonp' 
			    // a 'callback' parameter will be appended to the request url
	success: function(data) {
		$data = $($.parseXML(data));
		items = $data.find('item');

Something worth noticing on the client side is on line 5 : the data needs to be converted to xml first, with $.parseXMLbefore converting to jQuery object. Converting the result string directly to jQuery won’t work : $data = $(data);.

That’s about it ! To know more about JSONP, please refer to its wiki

References :

Continue Reading

Pharo Launcher : What? How? #PharoInProgress

reposted from

This tutorial has been included as a chapter in  Pharo In Progress.

This post aims to provide a basic overview of what PharoLauncher is and give a step-by-step approach on how to use this application of great advantage.


Pharo is an open source implementation of the programming language and environment Smalltalk. Pharo is not Smalltalk. Pharo is Smalltalk-inspired.

Pharo offers strong live programming features such as immediate object manipulation, live update, and hot recompilation. Live programming environment is in the heart of the system. Pharo also supports advanced web development with frameworks such as Seaside and more recently Tide.

The official Pharo website defines it as: ”Pharo is a pure object-oriented programming language and a powerful environment, focused on simplicity and immediate feedback (think IDE and OS rolled into one). ”

Pharo relies on a virtual machine that is written almost entirely in Smalltalk itself. Pharo environment is its own little world, designed around a conception of a computer with a minimal operating system and populated with living objects. A Smalltalk implementation is composed of an image (binary code), a major source file and a ‘changes’ file. The image is called Virtual Image (VI) because is independent of the platform you use for running Smalltalk. Smalltalk systems store the entire program state (including both Class and non-Class objects) in an image file. The image can then be loaded by the Smalltalk virtual machine to restore a Smalltalk-like system to a prior state.

As Pharo is open source, it growing rapidly owing to the contributions of people all around the world. Each day we have a new update of the image of Pharo which makes it cumbersome to keep track of updates. It becomes quite a task when one has to download a new image seperately each he/she plans to work on something having the latest issues fixed, new features added etc. That’s where the PharoLauncher comes in the picture. Pharo Launcher, a cross-platform application that

  • lets you manage your Pharo images (launch, rename, copy and delete);
  • lets you download image templates (i.e., zip archives) from many different sources (Jenkins,, and your local cache) and create new images from any template.

The idea behind the Pharo Launcher is that you should be able to access it very rapidly from your OS application launcher. As a result launching any image is never more than 3 clicks away. “PharoLauncher” is useful to a user who develops and needs to constantly switch between images. PharoLauncher is also a very handy tool to download specific image update versions if you want to reproduce or fix Pharo bugs.Pharo Launcher is a Pharo-based application allowing you to manage a list of images (download, rename, delete) and switch between them without aditional tools.

Downloading/Installing PharoLauncher

As discussed earlier about the rapid evolvement of Pharo , kindly check out to get the latest download/install instructions for Pharo Launcher.

Linux Ubuntu:

( Ubuntu users can use the dedicated ppa to install Pharo

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pharo/stable
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pharo-launcher

If you don’t have the add-apt-repository command, install the software-properties-common package and try again. If you are on a server (no GUI), you can get a Pharo Virtual Machine by installing pharo-vm-core.

On Ubuntu, the Launcher is installed as /usr/bin/pharo, so you can type the following command on the terminal to start the Pharo Launcher.


ArchLinux :


$ yaourt pharo-vm-latest
$ pharo /path/to/your/image

There’s also a pharo-launcher package that depends on pharo-vm:

$ yaourt pharo-launcher
$ pharo-launcher


Download and install the executable from the link provided here.


Use the link ( install Pharo Launcher on Mac system. After installation , you’ll observe that the Launcher is installed in /Applications.

Using PharoLauncher

Launch the Pharo launcher image using the platform-specific VM. The image below depicts how a PharoLauncher looks like when it is opened.


The screen displayed initially has been divided into two parts.

The left part ‘Existing Images’ displays the images already created by the user. Initially after the installation the left side with local images is empty. Whereas the the right side is the ‘Templates’ section which displays the image templates from various resources available for download from the internet. The ‘Existing Images’ section has 3 buttons : Launch, Delete and Refresh. The ‘Templates’ section has 2 buttons : Create Image and Refresh.

At the bottom of the launcher we have the buttons for quit and settings.

Select the image you wish to work on from the list and the sources provided in the ‘Templates’ section and download it. For instance you can download “Pharo4.0 (beta)” from the options provided which is the latest image as of today. By clicking on the ‘Create Image’ button at the top right corner.

Note that also the images from contribution CI are available. So you can easily download “Artefact”, “Moose”, … images according to your choice.

It will download the image into a specific directory somewhere in your users home directory. Each image gets an own folder. Use the “Show in folder” menu item to open this location.

The location of the images can be changed through the ‘Settings Browser’ option located at the bottom-right corner. Go to the ‘Open Settings’ > ‘Location of your images’. Now enter the desired path in the place provided as shown in the figure.


After ‘Creating an image’ , a dialog box appears which asks you to give a name to the image as shown in figure below.


After entering the suitable name , the image is displayed in the ‘Existing Images’ section.


To launch the image, simply select your option and click on the ‘Launch’ button located at the top right corner of the ‘Existing Images’ section and voila ! You have the pharo image of your choice running with the name of your choice.


You could watch this video on Pharo Launcher by Kilon Alios to get a clearer view ( Resources to explore further:

Do like the post if it was helpful. For any queries/suggestions please comment below. Thank You

Continue Reading

Improve the command line tools of the sTeam collaboration platform

First of all, I really thank Google for organizing such an event for students in the summer and I am fortunate to be a part of such a program. I would also like to thank FOSSASIA for accepting my proposal for the project and for providing me with the experience of working with them.

When you see your name on the list

Name on the list? Google’s server being stacked up with lots and lots of request, Students impatiently clicking the refresh button to see whether their names are present in the list, a lot of students, a lot of projects, and suddenly, that one refresh, when the list loads with the projects matching the student names. (CTRL+F) ”Trilok Tourani” and there it was,

  • Organization : FOSSASIA
  • Project : Improve the command line tools of the sTeam collaboration platform
  • Student : Trilok Tourani
  • Mentors : Martin Bahr(Working mentor) , Chris Angelico, Aruna Herath, Markus(Backup mentors)
  • Status : Accepted

Dumbstruck for a minute, but when it hit me, that I got selected, the happiness was beyond what I had expected. I went on the IRC and thanked my mentors. All I knew was I had a project in hand and a long way ahead to perform beyond their expectations.

About the project

What is sTeam?

sTeam is a collaboration platform which helps people to share their documents, chat with them, have a look at their virtual workarea, and ease the sharing/developing in big groups. You can also look at the current development on the sTeam web interface here. It is still in the development phase, so please feel free to provide us with any ideas to improve. To know more about sTeam, please visit societyserver.

sTeam is completely built on pike programming language. To know more about pike programming, please visit Pike. If you already know about pike, and are good at it, please visit Fossasia’s IRC channel #fossasia and ask for tasks/bugs on this project to solve right away. If you are looking for something other than sTeam, FOSSASIA has a wide range of projects in various fields, and also welcomes any new project ideas.

My part of the project

I would like people to know the kind of work that I am doing currently for sTeam and show them how interesting it is to develop for it.

My project is to develop the command line tools to ease the work for the developers, and people who choose to work with command line, over a web interface.

These tools include,

  • Exporting your documents to your Github repository with just a command.
  • Importing document from Github right into sTeam for people to see.
  • A easy to use debug client that helps you while developing for this platform, or to see the various documents/containers you have in which room, move them, copy them, use them, all with commands similar to the Linux command line.
  • A way of to edit your documents directly with command line editors, without having to go to the web, type in the url, clicking on a document, and then finally editing it.
  • Chat with your friends/group members over the IRC.
  • and more being added to the list….(Please contact us if you have any)

These tools are already built up, but with more development, they will be very efficient and easy to use commands which a normal user can type in and get things done, and this is where my part comes in.

For some of these tools, which are already built, some development is needed. While some other tools, I have to develop by myself and enhance the command line usage for sTeam.

These are few of the commands with their screenshots to help you understand exactly what these tools are meant for,

The sTeam debug client

The editing documents client,

and edit the document in a simple command-line editor (used vim here),

Exporting documents from sTeam to git (version-wise)

Importing documents to sTeam from git (version-wise)

If you really like what I am doing, or are interested in developing for sTeam, please join our IRC channel #fossasia or join [email protected] .

If you are looking for some other project, FOSSASIA has a lot of projects to be worked on. Please visit FOSSASIA for more info.

Continue Reading

searchQuick Apprise: FOUR #GoogleSummerOfCode #FOSSASIA


The intended “searchQuick” (sQuick) is an application to enable a user to search a set of books or texts, like an encyclopedia, or some other topical book collection offline built in the open source platform Pharo 4.0.


After indexing the content and the next task that was covered was searching for the user input string. The #queryString: does a fantastic job as of now.
The search results were printed in a scroll-able pane by iterating through a loop so as to cover each and every existence of the desired string. The search results window also enables the user to view the content of the chosen file.

02Search Results Display

Acting on the suggestion of my mentor, I have also loaded the Pharo image with text versions of large books (Thank You Project Gutenberg 🙂 )  to test the working of the search function.


  • GUI Modification
  • Integrated Exhaustive Testing
  • Addition of help/tutorial

PS: The GUI of the application is under constant evolvement, Kindly ignore the poorly structured window 😛

Stay tuned for more…
Post any queries , will be happy to help 🙂

Continue Reading
Close Menu