Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fear not, there will be a Shoes 3.3.3!

Shoes 3.3.3 is being worked on. “What’s the hold up?”, You might ask.

Well known secret: Shoes is hard to build from source and if you happen to be a C willing developer it’s a big mess of grok until you can get started. We’d like to make more approachable. The cool kids call this refactoring. This takes a lot of effort (imagine your testing load X 40 and the errors are hard to track down and the fixes break other builds) . But It’s the right thing to do and the right time to do it. Sometimes you have to do the correct thing.

There’s a couple of bug fixes of course. Some smallish new things.

Guess What?

That’s right! Another 3.3.2 beta at the usual place. It’s almost ready for a release. Seriously. After a lot of coding and testing, Shoes can draw line, column, scatter, pie, radar charts and has some interesting features for time series charts with 1000’s of data points. It doesn’t have all the sophisticated options that Excel or LibreOffice and other applications have but it does have a fair amount of knobs you can set and get something useful enough.

See the wiki documentation for something resembling a tutorial.

3.3.1 Teaser Time!

To paraphrase Donald Trump, You won’t believe how awesome 3.3.1 is going to be!

The long delayed secondary packager will appear but that’s just peanut gallery applause compared to the work done by passenger94 to bring back the video widget. If your users have installed VLC. Video is not part of of a Shoes download which would be an unending source of build problems, app/download size bloat and license issue. If your users have VLC installed and Shoes can find it, it will enable your script to use it. If don’t have VLC? then, You get a can’t fimd error message

Oh, there are many rough edges and bugs in VLC support and in the Secondary Installer. One or both will be in Shoes 3.3.1. You’ll be amazed! You will get tired of being so awesome. I don’t know whether to giggle or laugh.

Except for the bugs. Someone will always find bugs. That’s good too.

Curse of the SVG

This enhancement request has been hanging around for while. It seems reasonable on the surface but devil is in the details and the Devil is mean or I’m not very smart. I suspect both are true so I pressed ahead.

This would be a brand new widget for Shoes. It would look a lot like Image but it’s not – you can’t draw other art on top of it and save the result. It won’t do many of the Image transforms. It’s different and really difficult since nobody knows how to create and new widget in Shoes. Obviously I’m close enough to almost working that I can mention it. It’s been a lot work since the last blog post here. Rest assured, 3.3 is moving ahead.

New Mailing List

There is a new Shoes email mailing list you can join since the old one seems to be tits-up, pining for the fjords, deceased, unresponsive and generally speaking, not alive. Please join the new list. Talk about what ever Shoes related thing you want. Shoes 3.2 or Shoes 4

I’m not going to try to convert old subscribers or old archives. Diminishing returns and … It does run on my host (that I pay for because free doesn’t always work). Free to you. Since I pay for it runs by my rules. Rules: I hate spam, spoofers, sock puppets and trolls. I don’t expect any of that, but just in case know that it’s my rules and I’m pretty liberal in a free speech sort of way.

And then there were forums

This really doesn’t have much to do with the next version of Shoes 3.2 or Ruby but since I’ve been working on processing http logs and website things, I might as well fix some things on this website that have been on the back burner.

Notice the menu bar at the top of this page. Forums! Under that there is only one forum and it is just a test forum which I invite you to create throw away comments. Create new topics, reply to another topic or your own. I’d like feedback. Does it work? Would you use it? What needs to be changed?

That was a less than successful experiment.

Heavy hand

After all that SQL bullsh*t to process the http log files I decided to just block all of China in my htaccess at the download site. Report your problems with that choice here or at the github

FWIW I got the block list from here. Is that the best list? Do I care?

I did create a new github repo with to hold the Ruby/Sql scrits I’m using to process the Apache (Combined) log files. It’s a decent example of the escape hell that SQL from Ruby creates. There’s tutorial value there but I’m unlikely to write that tutorial or adapt it to Windows

Analyze this

Almost not related to Shoes: I wanted to discover how many of the hundreds of the daily downloads are what I would consider legitimate – real people downloading Shoes or real people using the Shoes packaging. How many bots, or idiot leachers or just evil folks and what are their IP#’s ? Some of them need to go into .htaccess in deny entries.

So I created some ruby scripts to process a collection of Apache (combined format) log files and stuff them into a local Sqlite3 db. I’m not a fan of SQL, but it’s the right tool for this. After many syntax errors I’ve got 7 days of log entries (3475) which is enough to pick out the evil-doers, the idiots, the clueless and the friends.

Did I mention I don’t like SQL. I barely know what I’m doing. If someone one wants to help me analyze these logs, contact me at and I’ll share the Ruby scripts and database. Because some of us jusst like to know things. I share your pain.

For example:
sqlite> select * from logentry where browser='Ruby'; shows me the Shoes (or other Ruby), AKA real people are using packager. If I knew SQL better I could probably figure how to count them or I could parse the results into a ruby hash based on the url (what are people really packaging for). Yes it would be butt easy to bin them into a ‘friends’ table and to populate an ‘evil doers’ table (because they POST instead of GET or they GET on things like index.php which just don’t exist at the site. Create another table for script kiddies. Some might end up in .htaccess deny entries.

Yes, I can track user behavior IF they use this site. I don’t care unless you abuse this site. There is a lot of abuse going on and has been ever since I went live. It always will occur but that doesn’t mean I have to accept it forever. I can clean my house and lock the doors when I want.

Shoes 3.2.24 is available.

Available at the usual places
New with 3.2.24 or here (same place)

  1. Added show_console command for OSX and Linux to match Windows.
    Dumber that dumb console. Works with readline if you don’t expect too
    much. Although -w and –console switches do work on the command line
    you probably don’t need them now that you can call Shoes::show_console
    Issue #127
  2. OSX: new cshoes script for using Shoes from the command line.
    Fixes some annoyances.
    Issue #17
    wiki: Command line for OSX

Fixed with 3.2.24

  1. Restore old behavior with ask/alert/confirm auto converting to string
    Issue 111
  2. OSX: Fix issue #08 (again)
  3. OSX issue #20, 137 – command line incomplete, multiple apps
  4. dialog works better
    Issue #119
    Issue #136
  5. OSX: ask() dialog gets an icon like alert() and confirm()
    Issue #138
  6. Windows: can now find the correct timezone for
    Issue #123
  7. Windows packaging bug
    Issue #128


Byebug is a Ruby debugger and it works on Shoes if it’s launched from the terminal (Linux, Windows) and if you can compile the gem and if your do the require 'byebug' and insert the byebug command into a shoes script where you want debugging to start. Obviously, not integrated into Shoes but if It could be taught to use the Shoes-IRB console that might be very interesting. No promises.