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6.4.1 macOS resources

Directory pure-data/mac contains support files for building a Pure Data macOS application bundle and supplementary build scripts for compiling Pd on Macintosh systems, as it is built for the ‘vanilla’ releases on msp.ucsd.edu.

Pd macOS app

In a nutshell, a monolithic macOS “application” is simply a directory structure treated as a single object by the OS. Inside this bundle are the compiled binaries, resource files, and contextual information. You can look inside any application by either navigating inside it from the commandline or by right-clicking on it in Finder and choosing “Show Package Contents.”

The basic layout is:

Pd-0.47-1.app/Contents
  Info.plist  <- contextual info: version string, get info string, etc
  /Frameworks <- embedded Tcl/Tk frameworks (optional)
  /MacOS/Pd   <- renamed Wish bundle launcher
  /Resources
    /bin      <- pd binaries
    /doc      <- built in docs & help files
    /extra    <- core externals
    /font     <- included fonts
    /po       <- text translation files
    /src      <- Pd source header files
    /tcl      <- Pd GUI scripts

The Pure Data GUI utilizes the Tk windowing shell aka “Wish” at runtime. Creating a Pure Data .app involves using a precompiled Wish.app as a wrapper by copying the Pd binaries and resources inside of it.

App Bundle Helpers

These scripts complement the autotools build system described in INSTALL.txt and are meant to be run after Pd is configured and built. The following usage, for example, downloads and builds a 32 bit Tk 8.6.6 Wish.app which is used to create a macOS Pd-0.47-1.app:

mac/tcltk-wish.sh --arch i386 8.6.6
mac/osx-app.sh --wish Wish-8.6.6.app 0.47-1

Both osx-app.sh & tcltck-wish.sh have extensive help output using the –help commandline option:

mac/osx-app.sh --help
mac/tcltk-wish.sh --help

The osx-app.sh script automates building the Pd .app bundle and is used in the “make app” makefile target. This default action can be invoked manually after Pd is built:

mac/osx-app.sh 0.47-1

This builds a “Pd-0.47-1.app” using the included Wish. If you omit the version argument, a “Pd.app” is built. The version argument is only used as a suffix to the file name and contextual version info is pulled from configure script output.

A pre-built universal (32/64 bit) Tk 8.5.19 Wish with patches applied is included with the Pd source distribution and works across the majority of macOS versions up to 10.14. This is the default Wish.app when using osx-app.sh. If you want to use a different Wish.app (a newer version, a custom build, a system version), you can specify the donor via commandline options, for example:

# build Pd-0.47-1.app using Tk 8.6 installed to the system
mac/osx-app.sh --system-tk 8.6 0.47-1

If you want Pd to use a newer version of Tcl/Tk, but do not want to install to it to your system, you can build Tcl/Tk as embedded frameworks inside of the Pd .app bundle. This has the advantage of portability to other systems.

The tcltk-wish.sh script automates building a Wish.app with embedded Tcl/Tk, either from the release distributions or from a git clone:

# build Wish-8.6.6.app with embedded Tcl/Tk 8.6.6
mac/tcltk-wish.sh 8.6.6

# build Wish-master-git.app from the latest Tcl/Tk master branch from git
mac/tcltk-wish.sh --git master-git

You can also specify which architectures to build (32 bit, 64 bit, or both):

# build 32 bit Wish-8.6.6.app with embedded Tcl/Tk 8.6.6
mac/tcltk-wish.sh --arch i386 8.6.6

# build universal (32 & 64 bit)
mac/tcltk-wish.sh --universal 8.6.6

Once your custom Wish.app is built, you can use it as the .app source for osx-app.sh with the -w/–wish option:

# build Pd with a custom Tcl/Tk 8.6.6 Wish
mac/osx-app.sh -w Wish-8.6.6.app

Downloading and building Tcl/Tk takes some time. If you are doing lots of builds of Pd and/or are experimenting with different versions of Tcl/Tk, building the embedded Wish.apps you need with tcltk-wish.sh can save you some time as they can be reused when (re)making the Pd .app bundle.

Usually, it’s best to use stable releases of Tcl/Tk. However, there are times when building from the current development version is useful. For instance, if there is a bug in the Tcl/Tk sources and the generated Wish.app crashes on your system, you can then see if there is a fix for this in the Tcl/Tk development version on GitHub. If so, then you can test by using the tcltk-wish.sh –git commandline option. Oftentimes, these kinds of issues will appear with a newer version of macOS before they have been fixed by the open source community.

Additionally, Pd uses an older version of Tcl/Tk for backwards compatibility on macOS. As such, small bugfixes from newer versions may need to be backported for the Pd GUI. Currently, this is handled in the tcltk-wish.sh script by applying custom patches to either the Tcl and/or Tk source trees. To skip applying patches, use the tcltk-wish.sh –no-patches commandline option. See mac/patches/README.txt for more info.

Supplementary Build Scripts

These scripts automate building Pd with the fallback makefiles in the src directory.

To build a 32 bit Pd, copy this “mac” directory somewhere like ~/mac. Also copy a source tarball there, such as pd-0.47-1.src.tar.gz. Then cd to ~/mac and type:

./build-macosx 0.47-1

If all goes well, you’ll soon see a new app appear named Pd-0.47-1.app.

If you want to build a 64 bit Pd, perform the same steps and use the build-mac64 script:

./build-mac64 0.47-1

Note: The “wish-shell.tgz” is an archive of this app I found on my mac: /System/Library/Frameworks/Tk.framework/Versions/8.4/Resources/Wish Shell.app

A smarter version of the scripts ought to be able to find that file automatically on your system so I wouldn’t have to include it here.

Preferences

The Pure Data preferences are saved in the macOS “defaults” preference system using the following domains:

The files themselves live in your user home folder and use the .plist extension:

~/Library/Preferences/org.puredata.pd.plist
~/Library/Preferences/org.puredata.pd.pd-gui.plist

These files use the Apple Property List XML format and shouldn’t be edited directly. You can look inside, edit, and/or delete these using the “defaults” commandline utility in Terminal:

# print the contents of the core settings
defaults read org.puredata.pd

# delete the current GUI settings
defaults delete org.puredata.pd.pd-gui

# set the startup flag in the core settings
defaults write org.puredata.pd -array-add flags '-lib Gem'

Some important per-application settings required by the GUI include:

These are set in tcl/pd_guiprefs.tcl.

Code Signing

As of Pd 0.51, the mac/osx-app.sh script performs “ad-hoc code signing” in order to set entitlements to open un-validated dynamic libraries on macOS 10.15+. This is required due to the new security settings. Note: ad-hoc signing doesn’t actually sign the .app bundle with an account certificate, so the unidentified developer warning is still shown when the downloaded .app is run for the first time.


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