Porting finch to uClinux

Bill Fassler bill.fassler at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 8 13:55:33 EDT 2007

I have gotten further this time, but am running into weird and unexpected problems and was hoping someone might be able to help.

Basically smaller handheld devices like phones and palm-pilots do not run full blown Operating Systems, but stripped down real-time embedded versions.  I am trying to port finch into one of these known as uClinux (micro-controller linux) on the blackfin DSP (Digital SIgnal Processing) processor family.

Since I have stripped down embedded versions of QT and ncurses already I thought porting finch would be relatively easy (and I still believe that).  However even after passing the configure argument of --disable-gtkui which according to your documentation should only build finch (and hopefully avoid gnome and other possibly problematic libraries), but it looks like the build still compiles gnome and xml related files (console captures attached) and I don't understand why a text based IM using ncurses would be doing this.

Also, it seems your whole automake and build environment is geared to using the host machine libraries.  I guess this makes sense when you want to run your executable on the same machine, but I am trying to build on a regular SuSE 10.2 linux host machine, but the executable (which I obtain by using a custom cross compiler known as bfin-uclinux-gcc) is meant to run on a completely different architecture.

Anyway, I think the basic problem is your configure doesn't seem to allow me to point to custom $INCLUDEDIR areas or additional include areas (at least not as far as I could see easily).

So can anyone enlighten me as to why it looks like my make is still trying to build pidgin related crap when I just want finch and how perhaps the best way to custom point the config and make to a cascading choice of include paths (using the embedded libraries I have when available and then perhaps the host libraries if it can't find embedded versions) and not necessarily the host/build machine that I am using to create my executable?

Any hints, tips and or help would be appreciated.  If I succeed perhaps finch will be the first IM application in portable hand held devices which as far as I know currently only have text message ability.....(think of it as portable conference texting)


Ethan Blanton <elb at pidgin.im> wrote: Bill Fassler spake unto us the following wisdom:
> I've been considering porting this application to uClinux.  Is there
> any documentation regarding building the source code configured for
> different platforms and/or targets?

I'm not sure I understand your question, it builds just like any other
application which uses autotools.  To configure for cross-compiling,
simply use --build, --host, and --target as appropriate.  That said,
it's entirely likely that something in our build process will break,
as I don't think anyone actually *does* this.  Let us know, and we'll
see about getting it fixed.

I don't think Pidgin is a good candidate for uClinux, though -- the
very idea of running it in the same memory space as my kernel made me


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determined to commit crimes.
  -- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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