There is a ./configure script here, but it's NOT autoconf generated.
evolvotron is built using the qmake utility which is part of Qt.
However, most users should be able to
./configure ; make
PROVIDED their environment is set up correctly.
Page down to the BUILDING section for more info.
Evolvotron is interactive "generative art" software to evolve
images/textures/patterns through an iterative process of random
mutation and user-selection driven evolution. If you like lava-lamps,
and still think the Mandelbrot set is cool, this could be the software
It uses C++ (and STL+Boost) & Qt (which is Trolltech's Qt GUI
toolkit; it's ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH APPLE'S QUICKTIME!).
It's multithreaded (using Qt's threading API).
Home page: http://www.bottlenose.demon.co.uk/share/evolvotron
Author: timday at timday dot com
This file describes how to build evolvotron.
See the USAGE file for details of what the built executable can do.
If you manage to make practical use of evolvotron, especially
if evolvotron derived imagery makes it into print or other
mass media, I'd love to hear about it: please email!
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.
[The license should be in the LICENSE file in the same directory as this
There's no reason it shouldn't work on any platform with a correctly
set up qmake. [A simple python script is now also used to build the
online documentation; I'm hoping this won't cause any problems]
You do NOT need to be root (there is no install stage).
In the top level directory, you can either do
or just have both done for you by doing
[Note that the BUILD script also adds $QTDIR/bin to the path while it runs the
commands, and is probably the easiest way to build if your PATH doesn't
include a directory containing qmake and you like it that way.]
Make will recurse into and build the libfunction & libevolvotron directories
(which is 99% of the work) and some additional subdirectories with
Among other things, this will give you an "evolvotron"
executable which you can run immediately with
and/or copy where you like (there are no shared libs or "resource files"
needing additional attention).
See the USAGE file (or in-app manual) for instructions.
1. Check you have your QTDIR environment variable defined correctly.
2. Check your PATH will find qmake (i.e do "which qmake")
(adding $QTDIR/bin to your path will fix this on many distros;
note that the BUILD script does this when it runs).
3. If your system appears to have some qt libraries, but not qmake,
you probably need to install a Qt development tools package
of some sort before you can build evolvotron.
The 0.6.0 code builds against Boost 1.35
Non-linux platform issues
On the whole, Qt does an excellent job of insulating code from
platform specific details. However, there is a little bit of
linux-specific code in evolvotron.
If you don't have a PLATFORM_... define set, you'll get some warnings
about no default implementations of functions in platform_specific.cpp,
but should still get a working evolvotron (although missing some functionality
with regard to automatically choosing how many threads to run and controlling
All the platform specific code should live in
and is selected by compile options
-DPLATFORM_LINUX or -DPLATFORM_BSD
(with more potentially addable for other platforms).
Setting the appropriate build options is most easily set by editing
near the top of the
file. Qt doesn't make a fine enough distinction between unix platforms
to decide completely automatically, and the situation is further complicated
by e.g Fink's Qt not considering itself to be a Qt 'macx' build.
[These days the author primarily develops on Debian stable
or testing. The comments below re RedHat are based on experience
with the now very old RH 8 & 9; they may or may not be applicable
QTDIR should point to your Qt installation. Your Qt installation
should be a directory somewhere (it might be /usr/share/qt3, it
might be /usr/lib/qt3-gcc3.2, who knows), containing some or all
of the subdirectories bin, doc, etc, include, lib, mkspecs, plugins.
NB you might have more than one qt installation (e.g on Debian
testing there is/was both /usr/share/qt and /usr/share/qt3).
You probably want qt3 if there's a choice.
I've never tried Qt4.
RedHat defines QTDIR for the normal user environment,
Debian needs QTDIR setting explicitly.
Additionally QMAKESPEC might possibly need setting
(only a Mandrake user has reported having to do this explicitly so far).
It will be something like "linux-g++" if you need to set it.
Check the Qt docs for other architectures or perhaps look in your
QT installation's mkspecs directory if you think you need this.
Many build failures are simply because the necessary Qt build tools
aren't in your path:
should both find something.
RedHat makes life easy by putting these binaries in
/usr/bin, but many distros leave them languishing in $QTDIR/bin, in which
case you should either add this to your path or use the BUILD script
provided here (which sets it for the commands it runs).
If you have gcc/c++ compile problems problems:
If you have to change anything, the chances are it should be changed in
common.pro. Remember that any Makefiles you can see are generated
by qmake from .pro files and therefore hacking on the Makefiles is
generally a fruitless exercise.
Some source releases have had problems with other versions of gcc than
the ones I test on. A COMPLETE record of a failed build would be
appreciated (including the initial display of the gcc version).
If you can fix it, then patches would be even better!
And the hackiest build yet:
A Debian (3.0r1) user reported Debian's Qt package not including qmake.
(Having since played with Debian myself I now know this is probably
because they didn't install the various Qt -dev and/or -dev-tools
packages too). They eventually got hold of a qmake from somewhere
(builing Qt from source?). Attempting a regular evolvotron build
they apparently (unsurprisingly) encountered a header/library version
incompatibility (old headers, new library) which was solved by
hand editing the qmake-generated Makefile and adding "-I- -I. " in
front of the other -I paths. Yuk.
BUILDING ON OTHER PLATFORMS
[Very old information now!]
Linc Davis reports:
"I built it on a Mac with Qt installed via Fink (if you know what that is.)
All I had to do is add '$(QTDIR)/include/qt' to the include path and then
Paolo Greppi built it on OSX like this:
- get qt for osx http://www.trolltech.com/download/qt/mac.html
- configure qt with -thread to compile threading support
(takes a lot of time)
- remember to:
sudo ln -sf /usr/local/qt/lib/libqt-mt.3.dylib /usr/lib
- and add this to .tcshrc in your home directory:
setenv QTDIR /usr/local/qt
setenv PATH $QTDIR/bin:$PATH
setenv DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH $QTDIR/lib
- modify the Makefile in evolvotron adding -lqt-mt at the end of LIBS
- cd libevolvotron
mv mutatable_image_computer_farm.c mutatable_image_computer_farm.cpp
mv mutatable_image_computer_task.c mutatable_image_computer_task.cpp
- make ... while compiling, it keeps saying
c++: unrecognized option `-pthread'
(but this doesn't seem to matter)
The evolvotron sources don't try to provide an installer.
The assumption is that packagers will have a better idea of where
files should be copied to on their systems, and the tools to do it.
will recursively descend into the various build directories, but
does nothing in each one.
The things you're likely to want to install are
(in order of interest):
The main executable and man page:
User documentation (standalone version of the builtin manual):
An HTML version of the above:
Command-line driven tools and their man pages:
An unsuccessful experiment:
There are NO extra supporting files built
(e.g shared libraries, config files, "resource" files)
which need to be in special places for the software to work.
There are a few things which might be useful to packagers:
- script to build .deb files (using the strangely unpopular
"yada", and pbuilder). This is used to build the .debs put
up on sourceforge, but the "official" Debian ones (and Ubuntu
derivatives) are more conventionally packaged by Gurkan Sengun.
Yada is obsoleted as of Debian's "Wheezy" release however.
- directory for contributed RPM related resources.
BUILDING CODE DOCUMENTATION
If you have doxygen (and graphviz too) and want to build
the source code documentation, execute
at the top level.
The code documentation then appears in ./doc/html/
This hasn't been tested in a long while now, although the
doxygen commenting style has been kept up.