Setting up Eclipse as your IDE for Bitcoin C++ development on MacOSX.

If you are a Java developer used to the productivity levels achieved by working with eclipse’s code navigation, code completion and refactoring tools, it’s worth your time staying in eclipse for any sort of C++ development.

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This post refers specifically to getting your eclipse environment to work with a particular C++ Open Source project, The Bitcoin Project.

Before you start setting up eclipse, please make sure you can build Bitcoin from the command line, this way you know that you have everything necessary to build Bitcoin, even if you’re still getting a few errors showing in Eclipse, in the end Eclipse will be using the Makefiles provided by the project whenever we need to compile (and it can do so incrementally when possible saving you a lot of compilation time)

I’m assuming you have installed:
– eclipse
eclipse CDT tools, up to date for the version of eclipse you’re working with (I’m still working with Juno)
– Qt/Eclipse plugin (optionally)
– All the dependencies (autoconf automake berkeley-db4 boost miniupnpc openssl pkg-config protobuf qt gdb) necessary to build Bitcoin which are easily installable via HomeBrew.

1. Let’s import the bitcoin/ project to our workspace.

File > Import > Existing Code as Makefile Project

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Look for the bitcoin/ git checkout folder, and make sure you use the GNU Autotools Toolchain

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Click Finish.

2. Fixing the C++ compiler Path and Symbols.

Right click on the project containing folder in the Project Explorer > Properties.
Go to C/C++ General > Paths and Symbols > Languages: GNU C++ >  “Includes” Tab and make sure it looks something like the screenshot below (I got those paths by looking at  the  ones used by the Makefiles in the Bitcoin. Hit Apply , OK, then wait for the reindexing, you might still have a few weird errors because of how the compiler checking settings are.

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3. Remove a few more issues like “Error: Invalid arguments candidates are: void resize(?, int)."

We open again the project Properties, this time we go to C/C++ General > Preproessor Include Paths, Macros, etc.
Click on the Providers tab and make sure “CDT GCC Built-in Compiler Settings [Shared]” is checked. Hit Apply, OK, wait for reindexing.
If there are still errors, you might want to just delete them and refresh the project (F5 on the project folder in the Project explorer), all errors should be gone by now.

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Now start working just as fast as you’re used to with Java on Eclipse.


Code completion…

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Project wide renaming refactors in seconds…

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Find references of variables, methods, classes (Cmd+Shift+G)

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Find all the implementations of an interface (Cmd+T)

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and best of all

Interactive debugging with gdb*

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and all the tools you know and love from Eclipse.

*Setting up GDB debugging

To do step by step debugging you can use gdb, if you don’t have it installed just go to your Terminal and type brew install gdb.

On your command line, execute your Makefile to create an executable, once it appears on your Project Explorer you can Right click on it Debug As > Debug Configuration…

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then make sure you have set gdb as the executable debugger in the “Debugger” configuration tab, then just set your breakpoints and debug away!

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Not so fast… 🙁

As of Mac OSX 10.9, Apple decided that you cannot use gdb unless the gdb executable is signed with a certificate, they want you to use their super duper lldb debugger, but it’s still not compatible with Eclipse, you know, so you use their XCode IDE instead of what you want to use…

Anyways, signing the gdb at /usr/local/bin/gdb is not that hard.

To sign it you can create a certificate, or use an existing developer certificate. In my case, I already had a Mac Developer certificate so it was a very simple process, just issuing a single command in the Terminal and I finally got rid of the "Unable to find Mach task port for process-id 93213: (os/kern) failure (0x5).\n (please check gdb is codesigned - see taskgated(8))" error.

codesign -s “Name of my certificate here” /usr/local/bin/gdb

Then I tried debugging, I got a password dialog to verify I was the owner of the certificate, and then gdb could take over and then I could do my step by step debugging, with the ocassional crash.

Happy Hacking.

How to actually build bitcoin on Mac OSX 10.9.1

First of all, if you have Macports, do yourself a favor and get rid of it.

Then make sure you have Homebrew installed and all the packages installed by it up to date.

1. Let’s install all the dependencies for Bitcoin hacking.

brew install autoconf automake berkeley-db4 boost miniupnpc openssl pkg-config protobuf qt libtool

2. Make sure you have the right OpenSSL version installed. Type the following on your terminal:

openssl version

you should see “OpenSSL 1.0.1f 6 Jan 2014.”

if you see an older version, do

brew update
brew upgrade

OpenSSL should be upgraded, you may or may not have to issue a “brew link openssl” or even a “brew link --overwrite openssl” if it’s giving you trouble.

3. Now, let’s configure, and make. I strongly suggest you add the boost library path when configuring, otherwise you may get nasty “Undefined symbols for architecture x86_64” compilation errors. During the time I wrote this, homebrew had installed boost 1.55 in my system, and the boost lib path was /usr/local/Cellar/boost/1.55.0/lib so I invoked the following:

./configure --with-boost-libdir=/usr/local/Cellar/boost/1.55.0/lib

After that I just issued a


And I was done.

If you want to hack the bitcoin-qt client like me, head to src/qt/, there should be a bitcoin-qt executable there now.


Demonstrating unfinished aspects of the Microsoft Windows 8.1’s Windows Store experience

For this demo, I’m using a Dell Venue 8 inch tablet with an optional bluetooth keyboard.

I’ll present you with a few frustrating use cases that are very non-intuitive and in which regular users would absolutely get lost during the task at hand.

1. When updating apps, it’s very hard to discover how to select just a single app as Microsoft introduces yet another unnatural gesture for single selection of an item.

2. When installing an app, there’s no “OPEN” action available on the store.
When the user goes back to the Start screen, the app is nowhere to be found.
Once the user figures out how to see all the apps, the user will have to search for the app as there’s an overwhelming amount of icons with very small type to choose from.

It’s not as bad as it used to, but it still has some details that really need to be taken care of to not frustrate users and send them running for Android/MacOSX.

I hope someone at the Microsoft Windows UX Team is listening, and can see the frustration from a long life computer user’s perspective.

First impressions of the Dell Venue 8″ pro running full blown Windows 8.1 (Intel Atom)

Check out the new Dell Venue 8″, this is a pretty cool $300 tablet that runs FULL blown Windows 8.1, so you can use like a full blown desktop. Then if you’re not working, you can take it to the living room, bedroom, couch, wherever and have fun with it like with any other tablet.

In this video I’ll set it up in front of you and share with you my first impressions.

After using it for a few days here are a few thoughts:

– Great 8″ form factor for tablet use.
– Has all the popular apps you’d expect on a tablet.
– If you associate a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, flip it over, you have a full blown desktop computer to do actual work.
– Has an x86 CPU, so you don’t end up with Windows RT which nobody has developed apps for. You can all the available Windows desktop software, and all the new stuff coming out for the touch world.
– Expandble storage via SD cards.
– Affordable, only $299.
– You can attach a larger monitor via USB using the Pluggable Dock (see this video )

– Super Heavy for that size when compared to the iPad or the Kindle Fire HD.

Still Testing:
– Battery life so far I can’t complain, let’s see how it holds up with a bit more usage throughout the day.

First Impressions Lenovo Yoga Pro and Windows 8.1 with a 2 in 1 device.

After now almost 2 weeks of heavy duty use of this machine, I must say Windows 8.1 is not fully baked when it comes to its tiled/touch/app store experience, however it’s not the nightmare I expected.

The FrostWire 5.7.0. currently circulating on the Internet was built on this machine, the experience was quite pleasant as a workstation, and then I carried it around for the North American Bittorrent conference and during that time it was a very convenient tablet while I was doing all the social networking during the event.