Saturday, November 27, 2010

TracExplorer and VS 2010 Integration

TracExplorer and VS 2010 Integration

(Nov 27, 2010)


Caveat: I'm new to an issue tracker system.  How I use Trac and TracExplorer, as described here, may not be a good practice, but it worked.
(you can skip the introduction if you already know Trac and TracExplorer well)

Trac is an interesting issue tracking system.  Its default feature set provides what many software developers need.  Trac's plugin architecture also allows us to add more features to the system if we need them.  Therefore, default Trac is useful and relatively simple.  Extended Trac is more powerful, but may be complicated.  Using Trac inside the Visual Studio can also be convenient, provided that the integration provides adequate features and user interfaces.

TracExplorer has a fascinating idea for VS 2005 and 2008 integration.  However, the available binary in source forge does not work with VS 2010.  In addition, TracExplorer (as of version 0.20 beta) is not feature rich.  It is rather inadequate and not improved for months.  For example, TracExplorer does not allow the user to create a new ticket.  A typical web-based user interface is needed.  Yet, it allows us to quickly view and modify tickets.  Many people may be satisfied with the available features.

This integration contains two parts: installatiion of Trac's XML-RPC plugin, which is a requirement of TracExplorer, and VS 2010 integration.

Installation of XML-RPC plugin

  1. Get the plugin by downloading its source package.  Don't worry that you do not get the binary. The actual installation is simple.

  2. Extract the source package to a preferred folder.  Inside the package, we mainly use the source inside the trunk.  Other folders usually contain outdated version provided for compatibility.

  3. Generate an 'egg' package. This step requires Python, but we should already have it installed as Trac's prerequisite.  A default Python's folder from BitNami is "C:\Program Files\BitNami Trac Stack\python\python."
    Therefore, in the command prompt of the trunk folder, type

    "C:\Program Files\BitNami Trac Stack\python\python" bdist_egg  [Note: the double qoutes are needed to dealing with a path with space.]

  4. The necessary outputs is in the newly created 'dist' folder.  Copy all *.egg files (typically, there is only one egg file for this plugin) from there to Trac's plugin folder.  An example of the plugin folder is
    "C:\Users\username\BitNami Trac Stack projects\InitialProject\plugins"

  5. change trac.ini of a project that wants to use the plugin by including lines
    tracrpc.* = enabled

    Note that if the [components] section already exists, there is no need to create a new one.  Just append 'tracrpc.* = enabled' to the section.

  6. Restart the apache service.  It is important to note that the service name is tracApache if you use BitNami.  If you need to run this service from a command line, use
    "C:\Program Files\BitNami Trac Stack\apache2\bin\httpd.exe" -k runservice

If you want to install this plugin for every project, try using easy_install descriped in Trac website.

Visual Studio 2010 Integration

This section is probably why you come to this page.  You may think that you need an installer for integration, but it is not necessary at all.  All you need are compatible add-in binaries and add-in description file.

  1. Download the package I built from this link.  This package includes binaries and description file.  If you are interested in how I prepared the package, see the next section. 

  2. Unpack it to your preferred folder.  No need to bother with "Program Files".  Any folder will do.

  3. Open VS 2010.

  4. Go to 'Tools->Options.'

  5. In the 'Add-in/Macros Security' in the 'Environment' node.  Then, 'Add..' the path to the folder in you chose in Step 2.

  6. Close and reopen VS 2010.

  7. Verify add-in installation: (1) Go to 'Tools->Add-inManager'.  You should see TracExplorer.VSTrac listed there; (2) By clicking 'View' in the menu bar, you should see 'Trac Explorer.'

Preparation of Binary Package

This part is for those who are curious about how I built the add-in from the source code provided in

Note: I do not modify any source code.  I just rebuild the binary and add a proper add-in description file.

  1. Install TortoiseSVN in its default folder.  You need TortoiseSVN, as the build script uses a file from TortoiseSVN.  The file is specified by the default path of TortoiseSVN. If you already installed it elsewhere, see note at the end of this section.

  2. Check out the source tree from SourceForge.  The SVN command is 'svn co vstrac.'  If you use TortoiseSVN to do this, just enter the URL

    Do not use GNU tarball, as the build script needs to obtain some information of the SVN source tree.  This information is automatically available if you use SVN to check out the source tree.

  3. Go to the 'trunk/src' folder.  Use VS 2010 to open TracExplorer2008.sln.

  4. Rebuild the solution in a release mode.  Whatever you try to do, you will get x86 binaries compatible with VS 2010 in the 'trunk/bin' folder.

Note: What if I installed TortoiseSVN in a non-default foder?
In this case, version_scm.bat in the 'build' folder will not work.  You, however, can specify your TortoiseSVN path by modifying the batch file.

Trivia: In SourceForge, this software is called TracExplorer, but in Visual Studio's view, it becomes Trac Explorer (with space added).

Hope this helps,

Friday, November 12, 2010

Building 64-bit Qt 4.7 using MinGW-w64

Building 64-bit Qt 4.7 using MinGW-w64

(Nov 12, 2010)

I successfully built 64-bit Qt libraries using MinGW-w64.  Although I had to change Qt source code, it was only one line of code in the current source tree of qt-mingw-w64.  The steps I took to built 64-bit Qt are described below.  Note that my explanation is a bit verbose, as those who just start using MinGW or Qt may need additional information.

  1. Obtain Qt 4.7 source code.
    • Go to
    • Click on the 'Source tree' button.  Note that you can directly go to this link.  However, go to the link above allows you to read recent activities of Qt development that may related to you.
    • On the right side, you see several 'branches'.  As of Nov 12, 2010, the one you want to use is plain '4.7,' which already merges Webkit facility.
    • Once you click on the '4.7' button, you probably need to wait a minute or two.  This allows the server to create tar.gz for downloading.  Basically, the package is prepared on the fly.  This is how gitorious works.

  2. Unpack the source tree to your preferred folder.  For this note, I unpacked it to 'F:\Qt\qt-4.7.1_mingw_w64.'  This path is used here for a demonstration purpose.

  3. Fix file 'src\corelib\tools\qsimd.cpp' by changing line 289 from 'long tmp' to 'quint64 tmp,' as suggested by Jonathan Liu [ref].  See the ref for more information if you don't understand what I meant.  Please note that if you get a newer Qt version, this problem may already be solved.

  4. Get MinGW-w64 from sourceforge.  I use the native compiler for Windows 64-bit.  FYI: MinGW offers a cross-compilation feature.  You can use Linux or 32-bit Windows to produce 64-bit Windows binary.
    • Go to
    • Click on Section 'Toolchains targetting Win64'
    • Pick the release you like.  I suggest you use personal build from sezero, as sezero usually adds some patches or features that you might want to use (e.g., updated OpenGL and OpenCL headers).  I employed  By the time you get MinGW from sourceforge, the build may be gone.  Yet, you are supposed to get a newer version than mine.
    • If you wonder what are inside each sezero build see his note in Section 'Toolchains targetting Win64 -> Personal Builds -> sezero_20101003.'  sezero did a good job in bookkeeping (at least it seemed).

    • Personal build of rubenvb is probably an interesting choice, as he appears to be a Qt contributor.  I believe that his MinGW build should not have a serious issue with Qt compilation.

  5. Unpack MinGW to a preferred place.  For this note, it is 'D:\mingw_w64_sezero_oct_3_2010.'

  6. Go to D:\mingw_w64_sezero_oct_3_2010\bin and change gmake.exe to mingw32-make.exe.  Note that it is MinGW's gmake not Qt's qmake.  I backed up original mingw32-make.exe to other file first, although they might be exactly the same binary in the sezero's build.

  7. Download Perl.  Yes, you need Perl to syncqt during compilation.  I suggest ActivePerl Community Edition.  If you want to repeat what I did here, download Windows 64-bit version with an MSI installer.  I did not like Strawberry Perl, as I encountered many issues with it during past summer, especially the fact that it comes with its own GCC.  Its GCC confused me about GCC version since both Strawberry's and MinGW's GCC showed up in the path.  These issues may be already resolved by now, though.

  8. Install Perl.  What a simple task if you have admin right to your machine.  If you don't, see steps below. 
    • Download AS Package (ZIP).
    • Unpack and set path to 'base_perl_path/bin' and 'base_perl_path/site/bin.'
    • If you want a temporary session path for your command prompt (cmd.exe), type 'set PATH=C:\Perl64\bin;C:\Perl64\site\bin;%PATH%, provided that you unpack its main contents to C:\Perl64 and discard its 'support' folder.  Don't close this command prompt yet because your path settings are temporary.  You need to use it until the end.

  9. Now, you have all you need to embark the actual compilation phase. Set path to your MinGW folder.  For example, 'set PATH=D:\mingw_w64_sezero_oct_3_2010\bin;%PATH%.'
    If you want to know what your current path is, type 'echo %PATH%.'

  10. Set QTDIR variable by typing 'set QTDIR=F:\Qt\qt-4.7.1_mingw_w64\bin.'

  11. Go to Qt base folder (F:\Qt\qt-4.7.1_mingw_w64) and run configure from the command prompt.  You can choose any configure options, perhaps except phonon (my Qt build did not have phonon).  I used 'plain' configure that generated everything, but you might want to get rid of many things, especially qt3 support, examples, and demos.

    Update (Feb 18, 2011): it is easy to build Qt with phonon.  The option, however, is off by default for MinGW.  I tested with
    configure -opensource -phonon -no-qt3support -nomake example -nomake demos
    Although I did not test if the created libraries work or not, things are built smoothly.

  12. Type 'gmake.'  Note that if you want to try multi-threaded compilation, type 'gmake -jx,' where x is the number of threads.  For instance, 'gmake -j2' for a dual-core machine, 'gmake -j4' for a quad-core machine, and 'gmake -j6' for a six-core machine (if you want to put every core to work).  I, however, just used gmake with no option since I wanted to simplify everything for this build.

  13. Wait with patience.

The following summarizes downloads and tweaks I made during the above steps.  Basically, we need to do only two things in addition to what most people do with mingw 32-bit.  I have not try building phonon yet (and I think I don't need it for a long time).

Download summary

  1. Qt 4.7 mingw-w64 branch (~ 130 MB).  See step 1.
  2. MinGW-w64 (~ 55 MB).  See step 4.
  3. ActivePerl (~ 24 MB).  See step 7.

Tweak summary

  1. Change source code (1 file, 1 line).  See step 3.
  2. Change gmake to mingw32-make.exe.  See step 6.  (May not be necessary any more.)

Hope this helps,
Pinyo Taeprasartsit

Additional reference: mingw-w64 mail archive

I welcome questions and comments.  Feel free to ask and share if you have any.