Still no idea what I’m going to do at BarcampBrighton next weekend. Ideas anyone?

I’ve been running an IRC bot for a channel I’m an admin for. One of the things we want it do do is biblical quotations. Actually, we only need it to do one biblical quotation, which is Revelations 2:5, which it already does by a simple text match, but I wanted to solve the general problem.

Turns out there’s a thing called Sword, which is a bible API and comes with Python bindings though SWIG. Unfortunately, Debian doesn’t package the Sword library directly, only though things like gnomesword, but it does include the datafiles. So I downloaded the latest sword source and compiled it.

automake: no such option -ac

This is the kind of thing that annoys me when installing from source. It’s the error message that doesn’t actually tell you what’s wrong. For example:

automake: no such option -ac means “Your install has automake 1.4 and I need 1.9”

This took me a while, but I got there in the end. This, fortuantely, is packaged, and apt-get install automake1.9 made that go away. To be replaced by:

gcc: File Not Found: Sword.cxx

Which was entirely accurate. There was no file called Sword.cxx anywhere on my system. Turns out this was caused by three things being wrong. First, I did not have swig installed and the configure failed silently. Second, you have to use the command:

make pythonswig

Even when you do_ have swig installed. And finally, if your swig install is two point releases off bleeding edge (Say, you’re running Debian. Any version. Up to and including unstable) you have to upgrade _that from source too. And that you only discover if you run make pythonswig and get a screenfull of C errors.

And then? Then you get a different screenfull of C errors. At this point I have worked out why Debian don’t package it.

Fuck it. I imagine the bible tools only work for the devout.