Updated 2017-08-10 00:59:12 by AMG

Introduction  edit

SDX is an application designed to interact with Starkits (previously called scripted documents). The acronym now stands for Starkit Developer eXtension.

SDX is frequently named sdx.kit on systems where extensions are used to create mappings between files and their interpreters.

Hopefully users of sdx will chime in here with pointers to documentation, examples of use, tricks, techniques, and more. The combination of tclkit and starkits is a very powerful one.

Using SDX with any Tclsh  edit

  1. make sure these prerequisites are available to Tcl: Metakit and tclvfs
  2. obtain the Tclkit source
  3. delete the load {} vfs line from <path to tclkit source>/kitsh.vfs/lib/vfs/pkgIndex.tcl (unless your tclsh has tclvfs statically linked)
  4. add <path to tclkit source>/kitsh.vfs/lib to TCLLIBPATH
  5. tlcsh <path to tclkit source>/sdx/main.tcl <sdx command> ...

Main SDX subcommands available for use (see home page for more info)  edit

(Note that online help is available as sdx help and sdx help cmd where cmd is the sdx command you want to know about.)
sdx fetch
Fetch a file from an HTTP or FTP server (try "sdx fetch http://wiki.tcl.tk/4.html")
sdx lsk yourstarkit
List the contents of a starkit
sdx qwrap yourscript.tcl
a shortcut for "sdx wrap", creating a runnable compressed starkit from a single Tcl script (avoids having to do "mkdir myapp.vfs/bin/main.tcl" etc, manually)
sdx tgz2kit
convert a tar/gz archive to a starkit VFS
sdx unwrap yourstarkit
Extract the contents of a starkit into a file system. Creates a directory with the name [file root starkit].vfs The directory must not already exist.
sdx update
a new way to update starkits, based on starsync
sdx version
calculate "version ID" of a starkit, and report GMT date of newest file inside
sdx wrap skname
Takes the contents of the directory skname.vfs and and creates a starkit with the name skname from it. Be sure to use the -writable flag if you want your starkit to be writable! By default starkits are read-only. Add the -runtime tclkit flag to create a starpack instead of a normal starkit.
sdx addtoc
Adds a "TOC" to a dir-tree, containing a full MD5 file index
sdx eval
Evaluate one Tcl command from the command line
sdx ftpd
Simple FTP server
sdx httpd
Simple HTTPD server
sdx httpdist
Fetch/upload updates using the HTTPSYNC protocol
sdx ls
A very simple Unix-like "ls" command in pure Tcl
sdx md5sum
Calculate and print the MD5 message digest of files
sdx mkinfo
Metakit file structure display
sdx mkshow
Metakit raw datafile dump/view utility
sdx ratarx
Reverse actions of a "tar x" command
sdx rexecd
An rexec-compatible remote Tcl command server
sdx starsync
Starsync CGI server
sdx sync
Synchronize two directory trees (either can use any type of VFS)
sdx treetime
Adjust modtimes in dir trees to match most recent file inside
sdx mkpack
Remove free space from Metakit file, starkit, or starpack
sdx mksplit
Split starkits or starpacks into head and tail files

(crc16, pkgIndex, and tree were erroneously listed in an older version of sdx - if your sdx (or sdx.kit) still lists them, then you should download the latest version.)

SDX Bug Fixes and Enhancements edit

AMG: I don't see any new development going on with SDX, and the latest version I've found is 20110317. I needed several bugs fixed, so I had no choice but to take care of them myself. They're hosted here on the Wiki:

SDX Enhancements

See Also  edit

previously called Custom Tclkits

SDX Related Questions and Topics edit

SDX under Windows and SDX under MacOS

Did you know that Wikit is included in sdx? Try this:
  $ tclkit sdx help

In the Konsole type
  wm deiconify .
  package require Wikit
  Wikit::init ../../doc/sdx.tkd

and you will see a rather incomplete Starkit Developer eXtensions wiki. You might want to use the search feature to see all wiki pages.

Does anyone know the reason for including Wikit and sdx.tkd?

[Does anyone have wiki pages or web URLs of actual examples of using sdx.kit ?? Particularly the various servers, etc.]

How does sdx update know about our http-Proxy-Server?

PT writes 19-Aug-2003: sdx uses the autoproxy package from this wiki. Under unix (or windows) you can set the http_proxy environment variable to the URL of your proxy server (eg: export http_proxy='http://wwwproxy:8080'). Under Windows the package looks into the registry and uses the Internet Explorer settings to find the proxy information.

The package needs enhancement to cope with authenticating proxies - but basically this will involve setting http_proxy_user and http_proxy_pass. With some way needed to get the password from the user if it isn't available in the environment.

RP How does one write a Starkit application to handle resources, like those supported in the command option? I have found it hard to name the application so that I could refer to it in my ~/.Xresources file. Even tk appname doesn't seems to work.

RLH This is a request for enhancement. Currently changing the icon of the bundled application is very tedious. You have to make sure your .ico has 4 or 5 different sizes (etc.). On the Perl/Tk side using "pp" there is just and --icon, -i switch. I would like to be able to pass a switch to sdx that would do the same, without worrying about sizes etc. I don't know if this is possible but doing something like ( sdx.kit wrap app.exe -runtime c:\tcl\bin\tclkit.exe -icon app.ico ) would be very nice. Just a wish. :-)

CLN I honestly haven't tried this yet but it occurs to me that SDX doesn't play well with CVS. I'd like to have the source for my application stored in CVS. That puts lots of pesky CVS directories in every level of my tree. And sdx wrap is going to try to grab those CVS directories and add them to the kit, right? It'd be nice if sdx had an --exclude option like tar does so you could exclude certain files or directories in your tree from the resulting kit. Any thoughts on how to use sdx and CVS together?

EMJ When testing/playing, I just put up with the bigger starkit containing the CVS directories, when I want a "proper" release I do an export from CVS in a temporary directory and create the kit there.

24mar06 jcw - Actually, SDX has always been special-cased to skip the CVS dirs (the "sync" code internally has the "exclude" logic you describe, though not exposed at the "sdx wrap" command level). Just try it!

26Mar06 RFox - Usually what I do, since I also have tests that I don't want to package up is use a Makefile to build the starkit. When I do this I build the directory hierarchy for the starkit in the makefile and then wrap it in the makefile. I've even done one with targets to fetch sdx and the run-times as needed from equi4 using wget.

Coming soon - some more extensions
sdx create
creates a Starkit VFS hierarchy from specified source file (a bit like sdx qwrap + sdx unwrap)
sdx fill
fill the .vfs/lib directory with dependent packages

For more details see sdx extensions for more details

Over on http://groups.google.com/group/starkit/ , Goodwin GJL writes:

I've got a starpacked sdx including TclPro's tclcompiler which I've put up for anyone to try out. Its here: http://www.bioengineering-research.com/vtk/sdx.exe

Putting sdx.exe into your path somewhere, you can call at the command line:
sdx wrap myapp -runtime tclkit.exe -compile

to create a wrapped, bytecoded application.

This sdx is compiled against Tcl 8.4.14 and Metakit; its Windows only too...

Any feedback is welcome. Thanks,


LV What is the state of tclkit/starkit/starpack/sdx in 2009?

The reason I ask is that when I attempt to use sdx.kit's update command to update a file, all I get is an http 404 error due to the old site no longer existing. When I look at the sdx home page, then follow the link to the failure forum, I see a message that indicates that that functionality is no longer supported on the server side.

Is sdx itself still being maintained? What about tclkit?

MHo 2010-07-25: Downloaded the latest SDX (changelog: 2010-03-10 Pat Thoyts <[email protected]>) one or two weeks ago from somewhere (didn't found the download location again today...), and today I noticed the following: Icons in Tcl 8.4.19-starpacks didn't get replaced anymore, so I had to "downgrade" to the latest "official" SDX ("signed" 2008-02-24 jcw ). Icons: a never ending story...

MHo if someone is interested, I've created a sdx.exe.

Look into ezsdx - a small frontend for sdx

Zipguy 2013-12-30 You might also like to look at ezsdx - a small frontend for sdx which offers a few interesting features.:). It is Windows only, and is at v0.98b (and up). It does try to prevent people, who may be ignorant, from doing stupid things. It can:

  • Run xxx.tcl programs
  • QWrap/Unwrap xxx.tcl programs
  • Makes it easy to re-generate your xxx.kit file
  • Can even make xxx.exe

Also, it has extensive screenshots to explain how to go all the way, from a xxx.tcl, to a xxx.kit, to an xxx.exe.