Gnome-inform7 6L38/6M62 IDE now running on modern Ubuntu & Fedora OS

I dunno if I have time to doing advanced (ab)use of the binutils… less so decoding the output (we’re talking nm(1), readelf(1) and objdump(1)…)

Anyway, here is attached the results from a quick readelf(1) probing of the current (2018) ni, if you know how to read it, that is.

ni.readelf.txt (8.8 KB)

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I just got an Ubuntu laptop as a present, so I thought I’d install I7, but got an error:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 gnome-inform7 : Depends: libjavascriptcoregtk-1.0-0 (>= 1.5.1) but it is not installable
                 Depends: libwebkitgtk-1.0-0 (>= 1.3.10) but it is not installable

Where can I get those libraries, and how can I install them (being “Not installable” – or is that just to denote that they aren’t known to apt?)?

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I have the same issue as Bjorn, in that I have Ubuntu 19.10 but there are still package dependency issues that seem unresolvable. I appreciate that work was done to fix it for modern Ubuntu, but any chance we can get an update or help with this issue (same as Bjorn’s, so I won’t repost the error)? **I’m not at all a Linux guru, sorry!

@EarleyGrave I do have a build for 19.10 but it is not well tested. Any possibility you would like to be the first to give it a try and report back on how well it works?

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@Eleas Hi Bjorn, Ubuntu no longer carries those particular libraries and the work to update gnome-inform7 to modern libraries is in progress according to @ptomato. I have been working to provide work arounds to allow the software to continue to function in the short term for modern operating systems as gnome-inform7 is reworked. May I ask what version of Ubuntu you are running? I do have a build for 19.10 but it is untested and I am not sure it would be helpful to you without knowing your OS version.

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@interactivefiction: I’m on Ubuntu Focal Fossa, dev branch, release 20.04. I understand the implications; if this issue stems from not running LTS, that’s on me. But I kinda hope it doesn’t matter.

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I’d be happy to!

Ok I have not attempted any builds on 20.04, but it is possible 19.10 build would work. I am going to post that soon so it might be worth giving a shot at installing it on 20.04. If you are not comfortable installing it, when I can get a free moment I will give it a shot myself. I need to get a chance to setup a VM with 20.04 so I can try the experiment though so it may take me a few days though before I can do it.

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Ok sounds great and thank you! Let me dig up the system I had that build on and I will update with a link to the deb once it is posted.

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Cool. I was nearly to the point of downgrading to 18.04 just to be able to use your other workaround lol (though I don’t mind doing so, my OS install is fairly fresh still, so no pressure about your new test build).

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Ok I found the build and it does run on 19.10 but it is a bit of a hack at the moment. I am going to try to get the install process to be hands off so you dont need to mess around setting up custom library paths and stuff. My current deb does not pull dependencies and in order to make it run you need to export a custom LD_LIBRARY_PATH to get things working. Will update you once I get something a little more polished.


Good stuff. I hope this isn’t putting you out too much.

Nah, I had hoped to get the 19.10 build out at some point but there were no requests for it at the time I got the initial proof of concept working several months ago. Now that there is some interest (and 19.10 is more mature) it is a good time to try to finish the effort. I have a similar build for Fedora 31 that is also sitting on one of my build systems somewhere that is about as half-baked too :grin:


Ok I managed to get a build up and running that appears to install without needing any additional steps. No promises at this point! Am looking forward to hearing back if it works for you :grin:

Installation: The approach I used was to double-click the deb package so that the ubuntu software app store performs the installation.

Running: After installing you should be able to go look inside of ‘show applications’ (looks like a grid of small squares in the lower left corner of the desktop) and find the gnome-inform7 icon to start the application.

Disclaimer: Some heavy handed workarounds were needed for 19.10 to get things working and this build has not been tested. It is possible the workarounds could have unexpected behavior as the gnome-inform7 build for ubuntu 19.10 includes gtk2.0 based rebuilds of webkit-1.0, icu55, and javascript-1.0 as part of the install.

Where to Get It: You can download it from my git repo.


It works! Installed it just as you said, it showed up in my apps, I created a 1-room game and ran it and everything seemed okay. It did crash after the first time it compiled the game and I had to reload it, but smooth sailing on the second compile. Thanks so much.

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@EarleyGrave Those ‘crashes’ are a known issue affecting gnome-inform7 overall. They wont be fixed in the current code base but the re-work will address it. I am considering back porting the fixes to the old code base that would avoid those spurious crashes but it will take some effort. Here are a few things that seem to affect the frequency of the crashes:

  1. Size of the inform7 project, very small projects crash more often than large ones. So… think BIG!
  2. Running gnome-inform7 from the command line instead of using the app launcher seems to let gnome-inform7 run with less crashes too.

Neither of those is a ‘fix’ but it might make life slightly less annoying :grin:


Nice. :slight_smile: Cheers!

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@Eleas Hi Bjorn, it appears that the 19.10 build also works on 20.04. I have performed an installation on the 03/15/20 build of Ubuntu 20.04. If you attempt an install, I would appreciate your feedback of how it works (good or bad). My approach to get it working followed the instructions I posted here:

Hey @interactivefiction, I successfully installed the new build. So far, other than a folder-clicking issue in the Create New Project dialog (which still works better than it used to, and in any case can be bypassed via the file path), I have no issues.

Much gratitude for the fix. This is great.

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Hi Everyone, I believe the latest build for 19.10/20.04 could have some issues because of the included libicu package in the deb. A cleaner way of dealing with the dependency is very much needed. Using it will likely have some unexpected side effects on the system.

@Eleas @EarleyGrave since you both installed the untested deb to help with initial checking, this post is for you!

For now I recommend that people uninstall it from ubuntu 19.10 / 20.04 gnome-inform7 package using:

sudo dpkg --remove gnome-inform7
sudo dpkg --purge gnome-inform7