Version 1.3.0 – Standalone Executables

This post is a bit late, as this was done at the beginning of the week, but anyway, GLC is now delivered as a standalone executable program for Windows, Linux, and OSX. This means that it is a regular program, not a page that runs in your browser.

Technically it is still a page that run in a browser, but it’s packaged up with Electron. This is a packager that creates native programs from web apps. If you’ve ever used The Atom code editor, it is made with Electron (and by the same people). Other apps made with Electron include Slack, Visual Studio Code and Pixate.

In addition to just wrapping the browser and app, it gives you access to native functionality, such as the file system, menus, external processes, etc. So now GLC can load and save code files as well as animations and screenshots just like a real program.

It also runs the app with an external nodejs server, so you get a lot of security issues that you have in a browser. The biggest impact this has is that we can now have an image object in GLC. This was impossible before because once you have drawn an external image to a canvas, you cannot access that canvas’s image data to create the gif. Not a problem in the standalone version. Check out the docs for the new image object. It’s fun.

There’s no need to install the program. Just download the version from your platform at https://github.com/bit101/gifloopcoder/releases and unzip it (or untar it for Linux). For Windows and Linux, you’ll get a folder with a bunch of crud in it, but there will be one file named “GIFLoopCoder.exe” (Windows) or just “GIFLoopCoder” (Linux). On OSX, all you’ll see is the “GIFLoopCoder.app” file and maybe a couple license files. Just run that file and you’re good to go.

If you still want to run the web version, you’ll have to check out the full source and use the “app” folder in there. Currently you’ll need to do that if you want to use an external editor. But I have some improvements coming up that will fix all that too.

The current builds also don’t include the docs and the examples, but you should have those kicking around from a previous install, or just use the online docs and get the examples from github.

Again, more things coming on this soon, but wanted to get this post out of the way now.

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