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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
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May 25, 2015: This project is not dead (yet). We're on out third hack doing this having taken several wrong turns as far as which tags actually need to be written out as code and which can be included as comments (like custom tags).
But as an addendum, I'd like to add, that if this works (at all) it will be useful for seeing how to write a gtk application by hand by outputting working code for whichever tags it ends up handling correctly. And for those it doesn't handle correctly...
There's a utility called 'glib-compile-resources' that takes an xml file that is basically a list of resources such as glade ui files, and it outputs c code to embed the data in the application. It's messy to use, but it works.
There may be another messy gtk/glib utility to create these xml files that 'glib-compile-resources' can use, but if there is here's another one that may or may not be easier to use.
Update: I'm reverting to a 32-bit system. I may install some 64-bit libs but trying to get everything working that I need in a 64-bit system is not worth the time.
I'll leave this post in case it's of any help to anyone, but it turns out that THE solution to the graphics speed provblem here may have only worked by chance. Meanwhile, my 64 bit system still has all the graphical effects working, but everything else slowed down and several apps ported from non-mint distros no longer...