Lean Undroidwish Construction Kit

A by-product of undroidwish, see it in action in , the available binary templates in , and the source code in .


Web based (CGI) script to make a taylored undroidwish, vanillawish or vanillatclsh from binaries which are searched in the same directory as the tclsh or wish executing this script. Additionally, prefabricated configurations are presented. These are searched like the binaries and additionally relative to the parent directory of this script.

In the first step, the user selects a prefabricated or uploaded configuration or a binary. In the second step, a selection of packages derived from the binary's ZIP is presented plus some other options such as ZIP password and output filename. The package selection and other options can be primed by the info from a prefabricated or uploaded configuration. In the last step the user can generate a new binary and configuration with only the selected packages and other options, which is downloaded as a file.

The generation process uses memchan channels and ZIP mounts of memory buffers, i.e. no native filesystem for temporary storage is required.

Currently supported/available platforms

The following table is a snapshot from 2024-03-18.

Haikux86, x86_64undroidwish only
Linuxx86, x86_64, arm, aarch64, riscv64glibc and musl, wayland
MacOSXx86_64no builds for Catalina and newer
Windowsx86, x86_64

REST interface

The CGI script is RESTful and can be used as a service from other Tcl scripts utilizing tcllib's rest package, e.g. to easily mass produce Tcl apps for a variety of platforms. Here is an example on how to read out information and make a binary:

# Demonstrate usage of LUCK RESTfully, requires a locally running LUCK service on port 8015

package require rest

set luck(list) {
    url http://localhost:8015/cgi-bin/luck.tcl description {list of available templates}
    result raw
    method post static_args {api list} req_args {} opt_args {}

# req_args:
#   -template   name of binary template, e.g. vanillawish-linux32
# opt_args:
#   -withtips   when present send alternating lines of extension name and description

set luck(extlist) {
    url http://localhost:8015/cgi-bin/luck.tcl description {list of extensions of given template}
    result raw
    method post static_args {api extlist} req_args {template:} opt_args {withtips}

# req_args:
#   -template   name of binary template, e.g. vanillawish-linux32
#   -include    list of extensions to be embedded
# opt_args:
#   -appfile    *.tcl (for app/main.tcl) or *.zip (must have main.tcl),
#               content must be base64 encoded
#   -cmdline    (undroidwish) additional startup arguments
#   -appicon    (undroidwish) BMP (24 bit RGB) icon,
#               content must be base64 encoded
#   -winicon    (Windows binaries) icon (*.ico) for executable,
#               content must be base64 encoded
#   -passwd     ZIP password

set luck(generate) {
    url http://localhost:8015/cgi-bin/luck.tcl description {generate a binary}
    result raw
    method post static_args {api generate} req_args {template: include:} opt_args {appfile: cmdline: appicon: winicon: passwd:}

# create REST interface
rest::create_interface luck

# list templates
puts "==== Templates ===="
puts -nonewline [luck::list]

# list extensions of vanillawish-win32.exe
puts "==== Extensions of vanillawish-win32.exe ===="
puts -nonewline [luck::extlist -template vanillawish-win32.exe]

# make tkbugz for win32 from a ZIP which contains main.tcl
# with the single line "source [info nameofexecutable]/tkbugz/tk_bugz.tcl"
set main_tcl_zip {
set f [open tkbugz.exe wb]
puts -nonewline $f \
    [luck::generate -template vanillawish-win32.exe \
         -include tkbugz -appfile $main_tcl_zip]
close $f

Most vanillatclsh-en from the web site contain a REST based TUI (CUI) frontend called lucktui which is available in the luck package, e.g. by running vanillatclsh... builtin:luck/lucktui.tcl or vanillatclsh... builtin:lucktui for short. Here's a sample session as an ASCII screencast .

How to roll your own build service

  • fetch the relevant (or all) binary templates from
  • store these in one directory
  • execute vanillawish... builtin:LUCK with a vanillawish runnable on your platform; this starts a local tclhttpd on port 8015 and tries to invoke a web browser on its LUCK page
  • or execute vanillatclsh... builtin:lucktui with a vanillatclsh runnable on your platform; this presents the TUI with a local tclhttpd on port 8015
  • begin mass production of single file self contained Tcl/Tk apps; the world is your oyster!

Build service (advanced)

  • thanks to tclvfs and SQLite, the above mentioned binaries can be wrapped up, compressed, and deduplicated into a virtual filesystem based on a SQLite database
  • this shrinks the required disk space down from 900 MByte to about 300 MByte
  • the current database is in
  • the source code of the VFS module is in
  • if luck.tdd is placed in the same directory as the CGI script luck.tcl it is preferred over the (undroidwish|vanilla(tclsh|wish)) binaries serving all alternatives contained in the database
  • (experimental) when using luck.tdd and the prefabricated configuration luck.cfg a big fat binary can be produced which serves as the CGI program and has that database integrated
  • (experimental, self referential) when using a big fat binary and the prefabricated configuration luck.cfg another big fat binary for another platform can be produced

LUCK(y) success story: with light speed to slow trains

The LUCKy steps to a train application: Try it, it is fun!

  1. Open the trains3.tcl wiki page , section "Code"
  2. Copy the Code snippet in the "Code" box by pressing the small right icon on the upper-right corner of the big grey code box.
  3. Go to the LUCK(y) page:
  4. Select a *vanillawish* suitable for your platform, for example "vanillawish-win32.exe".
  5. Scroll down to the entry box titled "Application app/main.tcl" and paste the code snippet (Press Ctrl/Apple+v)
  6. Press button "generate binary". The binary is downloaded. Start the binary and enjoy the movie.

aplsimple - 2022-04-02 06:35:27

Thank you, Christian, for your smart interface to construct stand-alone executables, including vanilla tclsh and wish by themselves.

I wonder why this work is so poorly announced and promoted.

LUCK is one of Tcl/Tk gems that deserves to be included in the wiki's start page, side by side with Tcl Developer Xchange link. APN I agree along with Paul's BAWT and Roy's build farm. I've tweeted a couple of times on all these but that's ephemeral, they should be somewhere front and center as development resources.

nb - 17/03/2023

I am trying to shift from starkits/packs to using this LUCK system which looks way cool... I am not able to generate an exe with my app and libraries in the correct place in the tree...

I guess what I'm asking is how to add own libraries (or libraries not in the LUCK page) under the executable under the root directory


chw 2023-03-17

This is not possible. But you can have those things as subdirectories of the application folder. And address them easily from your startup script by using [file dirname [info script] plus name of subdirectory. Other alternative is rebuilding LUCK from scratch with your own things included.

rz - 2023-09-20 13:25:52

Hi Christian, I tried LUCK with the tksqlite.cfg. It was missing the tclsqlite2/3 packages. I think this was working before. Could you add these packages again. Thank you

chw - 2023-09-20 14:08:11Z

Done, thanks for reporting. BTW: there will be no SQLite version 2 package, since that version is EOL for many years.