April 8, 2014 | In: Ham Radio, IT

Cake = Lie, TQSL Build Instructions = Overly Optimistic

The ARRL's Logbook Of The World (LOTW) is pretty cool.  Several years ago I did a presentation to my local radio club outlining its use, and it seems to have gotten even better since then.  Recently the Trusted QSL platform that underpins LOTW was upgraded to V2.0, which, among other things, pulled the two LOTW utilities (one for managing certificates and one for managing contacts) into a single application.

Having used TQSL 2 on my Win7 machine, and liking the new functionality, I decided to put it on the club's logging laptop (running the Ham-OS Linux Distro) and then subsequently on my newly rebuilt shack machine (running #!).  While there are probably repositories out there with it pre-built, TQSL 2 is only available from the ARRL as source and needs to be compiled into a usable app.  OK…I can handle this, and hey, there's even documentation in the tarball stating what is necessary: 

The TrustedQSL library depends on several other libraries:

OpenSSL (http://www.openssl.org/) – OpenSSL 1.0.1e was used for TQSL 1.14.
expat 1.x XML parser library (http://expat.sourceforge.net/) – expat 2.1.0
zlib (http://zlib.net/) zlib 1.2.7
Berkeley DB (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/products/berkeleydb/downloads/index.html) – BDb 5.3.21
wxWidgets (http://wxwidgets.org/downloads) – wxWidgets 2.8.12.
curl – (http://curl.haxx.se/download.html) – curl 7.29.0

Most Unix and unix-like workstations will have these available.  (emphasis mine…)

Whelp…I've now built this thing on three different machines, using three different Linux distros (tried it on a plain-vanilla Debian machine just to confirm my suspicions) and the dependencies were not "available" on any of these boxes.  I have no problem with needing to install dependencies.  It is part and parcel of working with some of these less-than-mainstream areas of computing.  But don't lead me down the primrose path with the assumption that my machine will already have everything I need to mak this work.  

Secondly, if you can be specific about which BDb or curl or wxWidgets packages have the specific libraries needed, that would be quite helpful.  I'm sure that Synaptic Package Manger was probably saying, "make up your mind, already" as I selected different support libraries in turn after each failed build.

For all that, I was able to get TQSL V2.0 to build successfully, and was able to import my LOTW certificates.  It looks good, it works, and in the end that is what matters, but I shouldn't need to  be scratching my head over overly-optimistic documentation.

Comment Form