The SOFA installers for Windows and Mac have shrunk substantially – from 43MB to 25MB for Windows and from a rather hefty 85MB to 36MB for Mac. They’ll be quicker to download, and the new installers also avoid possible conflicts with other Python packages on a system. It’s all self-contained. A final benefit is that the installation process itself has become much simpler, with much fewer steps. For those who are technically minded, it is thanks to pyinstaller and py2app (with some initial help from Gui2exe).
Archive for December, 2011
SOFA has been reviewed and included in the software CD for a recent edition of Germany’s c’t magazine (c’t 2011 Issue 26 p.118). C’t (Magazin für Computertechnik) has a sold circulation of about 367,000 so it was wonderful to show up on their radar.
As SOFA Statistics has gained more functionality it has grown in complexity – there are modules for reading Excel spreadsheets, connecting to Google Docs spreadsheets, displaying charts, displaying GUI widgets etc. Trying to make a single executable for Windows users was always going to be a challenge and would probably involve a lot of trial and error. So it proved.
But there was one technique I used to make the seemingly impossible task manageable. I made a single python script I called launch.py which was responsible for importing all the main modules the executable would need to handle (e.g. matplotlib, MySQLdb etc). I identified the imports I would need by looking at each and every main module in SOFA and adding any external library module imports not already included.
The process of making an executable failed initially, so by variously commenting and uncommenting parts of the launch script I was able to isolate problem modules and fix them. To get PostgreSQL working, for example, I needed to add the following fix:
try: # I needed to add the Postgres library directory to the PATH # variable in Windows. Apparently when Postgres is installed under Windows as a # service, this isn't done automatically (no need to) so that library isn't # available. [http://osdir.com/ml/python.db.pygresql/2008-03/msg00021.html] # OK to hardwire to version available to my installer dev environment. The user experience # will depend on whether they have set the PATH properly. os.environ['PATH'] += ";C:\\Program Files\\PostgreSQL\\9.1\\bin" import pgdb except ImportError, e: pass
Here is the full text of launch.py:
#! /usr/bin/env python # -*- coding: utf-8 -*- from __future__ import absolute_import from __future__ import division # so 5/2 = 2.5 not 2 ! from __future__ import print_function # remove import __future__ from dbe_sqlite import cgi import codecs from collections import defaultdict from collections import namedtuple import copy import csv import datetime import decimal import gettext import glob import locale import math from operator import itemgetter import os import platform import pprint import random import re import shutil import socket import subprocess import sys import time import traceback from types import IntType, FloatType, ListType, TupleType, StringType import warnings import weakref import webbrowser import xml.etree.ElementTree as etree import zipfile # Even though not used here pyinstaller won't know about it otherwise # and will not have it when encountered in import2run.py/start.py etc import MySQLdb as mysql try: # I needed to add the Postgres library directory to the PATH # variable in Windows. Apparently when Postgres is installed under Windows as a # service, this isn't done automatically (no need to) so that library isn't # available. [http://osdir.com/ml/python.db.pygresql/2008-03/msg00021.html] # OK to hardwire to version available to my installer dev environment. The user experience # will depend on whether they have set the PATH properly. os.environ['PATH'] += ";C:\\Program Files\\PostgreSQL\\9.1\\bin" import pgdb except ImportError, e: pass import sqlite3 as sqlite # using sqlite3.dll from Python 2.7 so includes foreign key support #import wxversion #wxversion.select("2.8") # Not needed when using executable. # http://groups.google.com/group/pyinstaller/browse_thread/thread/1b57e64ddc35e772 if not hasattr(sys, 'frozen'): import wxversion wxversion.select('2.8') import wx import wx.lib.iewin as ie import wx.gizmos import wx.grid import wx.html try: from agw import hyperlink as hl except ImportError: # if it's not there locally, try the wxPython lib. import wx.lib.agw.hyperlink as hl # problem locating eggs folder - solution in http://www.pyinstaller.org/ticket/185 # change pyinstaller-1.5\support\_pyi_egg_install.py #if os.path.isdir(d): # for fn in os.listdir(d): # sys.path.append(os.path.join(d, fn)) import numpy as np #if hasattr(sys, 'frozen') and sys.frozen: # import numpy.core.ma # sys.modules['numpy.ma'] = sys.modules['numpy.core.ma'] # if include matplotlib before sys.path, matplotlib.collections shadows collections and won't find namedtuple # Currently problem with Path in environment MATPLOTLIBDATA not a directory # Must put mpl-data folder in same folder as the executable is finally run from import matplotlib #import matplotlib.numerix as Numerix #from matplotlib.axes import _process_plot_var_args #from matplotlib.backend_bases import FigureCanvasBase #from matplotlib.backends.backend_agg import FigureCanvasAgg, RendererAgg #from matplotlib.backends.backend_wxagg import FigureCanvasWxAgg #from matplotlib.figure import Figure #from matplotlib.font_manager import FontProperties #from matplotlib.projections.polar import PolarAxes #from matplotlib.transforms import Bbox # connected to matplotlib # don't exclude Tkinter, Tkconstants import wxmpl import pylab # must import after wxmpl so matplotlib.use() is always first # don't import boomslang - trouble with import pylab in many cases, even import math. # works fine if matplotlib baked into exe #import boomslang # no need to bake googleapi in as nothing installed as such. Just ensure not using stale pycs from Ubuntu system. #import googleapi # problem with import os etc if using below #import googleapi.gdata.spreadsheet.service as gdata_spreadsheet_service #import googleapi.gdata.spreadsheet as gdata_spreadsheet #import googleapi.gdata.docs.service as gdata_docs_service #import googleapi.gdata.service as gdata_service # no need to bake xlrd in as nothing installed as such. Just ensure not using stale pycs from Ubuntu system. #import xlrd import adodbapi import pywintypes import win32api import win32con import win32com import win32com.client import dao36_from_genpy # go to makepy/genpy and look in py files till found - taken and rename and relocate so can directly call import import2run
The code for SOFA is cross-platform and I start the Windows packaging process by copying everything across from Ubuntu. It is important in such a case to wipe all pyc files so that platform-specific ones are created for Windows and included in the executable creation process.
The final import statement is for import2run.py. This means that the executable doesn’t hardwire anything beyond the imports. As it happens I started by having import2run contain just the following line:
Later, once all the basic imports were working, I changed it to:
to actually load SOFA. NB the executable created using the technique described here doesn’t replace all the SOFA modules with a single executable – its purpose is to replace Python and all the extra libraries such as matplotlib. So the exe is expected to live in the main SOFA program folder (usually in C:\Program Files\sofastats) alongside the usual modules such as core_stats.py. If a user actually had Python 2.6 and all the libraries installed they could either use the exe or run start.py directly themselves. It would have the same effect.
Getting matplotlib to work took a while and involved many false leads. In the end the solution was to copy the entire mpl-data folder (from somewhere like C:\Python26\Lib\site-packages\matplotlib) into the same folder as the sofastats.exe was going to end up.
Some final things I learned about Pyinstaller. –onedir is the default and adds the coll = COLLECT(…) part of the spec file. If making manual changes remember that if you want the onedir approach, don’t include a.binaries in the EXE(…) part and exclude_binaries should be True. If, like myself you want a single executable file, don’t bother with coll = COLLECT(…), include a.binaries, and set exclude_binaries to False. And while testing set debug=True and Console=True so you can see what is going wrong as you refine your spec file, launch.py script etc.
Although GUI2EXE is a wonderful program some aspects may not be compatible with Pyinstaller 1.5.1 so I now build my spec file using makespec.py with the –onefile argument. It works in its basic vanilla form for SOFA using launch.py. You can export the spec file GUI2EXE makes and see the differences.
Here is the final spec file I used:
# -*- mode: python -*- # used MAKESPEC 1.5.1 with --onefile option # NB must include mpl-data folder under main sofastats level (i.e. sibling of dbe_plugins etc) for matplotlib to work # manually set level=9 in PYZ params (inspired by how GUI2EXE did it) # manually replaced name=os.path.join('dist', 'launch.exe'), with name='C:\\sofastats_build_exe\\sofa.main\\sofastats.exe', # manually set debug=True, upx=False in EXE params # manually set exclude_binaries=False in EXE params a = Analysis([os.path.join(HOMEPATH,'support\\_mountzlib.py'), os.path.join(HOMEPATH,'support\\useUnicode.py'), 'C:\\sofastats_build_exe\\sofa.main\\launch.py'], pathex=['C:\\Python26\\pyinstaller-1.5.1']) pyz = PYZ(a.pure, level=9) exe = EXE( pyz, a.scripts, a.binaries, a.zipfiles, a.datas, exclude_binaries=False, name='C:\\sofastats_build_exe\\sofa.main\\sofastats.exe', debug=True, strip=False, upx=False, console=True )
Before going live switch debug and console to False.
This post is largely specific to SOFA Statistics but hopefully it includes some tips which might save others a lot of fruitless struggle. If you have trouble, I found the pyinstaller mailing list people helpful.